Uber says that access to sensitive data on iPhones was granted to the San Francisco based firm to let them develop a previous version of their app designed to function on the Apple Watch.
An ‘unprecedented’ level of access granted to Uber’s iPhone app means the firm could be watching your every move. Apple has given the company special powers that could be used to record a user’s screen and access other personal data without their knowledge or permission
Security researcher Will Strafach first raised the alarm on Twitter, after uncovering an unusual portion of the app’s code.
Mr Strafach checked this against tens of thousands of other apps on the App Store and found that Uber was the only non-Apple software to include the string of data, known as an entitlement.
This gives the app permission to use abilities normally reserved for Apple’s proprietary programs.
Speaking to Business Insider, he said: ‘Granting such a sensitive entitlement to a third-party is unprecedented as far as I can tell.
‘No other app developers have been able to convince Apple to grant them entitlements they’ve needed to let their apps utilise certain privileged system functionality.
‘It is very odd to see Uber as the only app besides Apple’s own apps granted access to this sensitive entitlement.’
Apps for the iPhone and iPad use entitlements to enable functions like the camera and Apple Pay.
Some, marked com.apple.private, are normally strictly reserved to provide Apple’s own products full functionality.