A forgotten story of a major tech company and its secret affair with Uber. Apple iPhone iOS has a feature called "entitlement." This feature is part of the iOS code and is found on every iPhone and iOS mobile device. Basically "entitlement" is a function that enables Apple to access every iOS mobile device and read the phones information. In other words, a backdoor to bypass confidential information.
Now, for Apple that's OK, it is a feature that is only activated when the iOS user allows Apple to access the device for technological usage reasons, although one wonders why the privacy aspect never came up. Why is this important to Uber? It's important because Uber is the only third-party company in the entire world! That has access to this feature as part of an agreement between Apple and Uber when Uber wanted access to their app due to technological reasons back in 2015 when the earlier versions of Apple Watch could not handle the advanced features of the Uber map.
What is so important to raise this issue today?
The Apple Watch no longer needs the entitlement feature, but for some reason, Uber and Apple have not canceled this function. So, all iPhone and iOS mobile devices give Uber access to the users personal information, secretly.
You would think that CEO Dara Khosrowshahi would have removed this blatant method of invasion as part of his "cleaning up" act in Uber, but as far as I know, the feature is still in place and Uber can still access our private information.
Let's have a look at the importance of "entitlement." Every Apple iOS device has an interface within its code that uses integration software with names starting with "com.apple.private," These bits of code are so sensitive that Apple will ban a third party app that integrates them into their code. When you check out Uber's app, you find the following bit of code embedded into it; "com.apple.private.allow-explicit-graphics-priority."
Why is this particular code so sensitive? Because it enables Uber to capture iOS screens no matter what app is running at the time. So basically, as a driver or a customer of Uber who have installed the Uber app on their iOS mobile device, Uber can record any screen, including and not only bank accounts, messaging, credit cards and, well, anything and everything that is on the screen at the time of the capture.
While Apple did give Uber permission when the Apple Watch could not handle the map, it seems rather peculiar that after so many issues with Uber, including the famous 2016 hack and the current Waymo case, you would think that Apple would have demanded, or Khosrowshahi, would have removed the code from the Uber app. This also comes after Apple invited previous CEO Travis Kalanick to a dressing-down at Apple HQ, when they found out that he was using the Apple code to track users illegally. This was a few weeks before the Apple Watch was introduced, and where Uber was an integral part of the Apple Watch launch.
Apple is now an investor in Uber through their holdings in Didi, where Uber also has a percentage, and Didi has stock in Uber. Yes, it sounds complicated, but essentially all the rideshare companies are related in one way or another, just like the European Royal Families.
Back to the Uber Apple, it's still there, it's still operational, and no one knows which Uber employee is using it to get private and confidential information from the millions of Uber app users around the world!