Uber’s reputation for ignoring rules had apparently gotten it in trouble with Apple back in 2015. The New York Times relates a story about how the ride-sharing service developed a method for identifying individual iPhones; which violates Apple’s privacy guidelines for developers.
The situation was due to drivers in locations like China using stolen iPhones to conduct account fraud. These individuals would create fake accounts and order rides for themselves. Since Uber was offering incentives for drivers to accept more rides, these drivers would essentially make a decent profit through the fraud.
To combat this, Uber created a method for identifying iPhones; even after the Uber app had been deleted. Founder Travis Kalanick knew that this method of fingerprinting iPhones would get his company into trouble, and directed his engineers to geofence the Apple headquarters in Cupertino.
He hoped that this would prevent the company from discovering what he was up to; which is generally how Uber tends to operate as a company. Act, and then apologise if caught.
Unfortunately for Kalanick, Apple did find out about the situation, although the NYT story does not explain how this happened. In the end, Kalanick was called into a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook; who told him to knock it off or have Uber banned from all Apple devices.
Needless to say, Uber backed down. Apple represented a massive portion of its userbase and it wasn’t in a place to fight back.
[Source: The New York Times]