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Apple Gave Uber Access to a Secret Feature that Could Allow it to Record Your Screen

In this Photo Illustration, a phone displays the Uber ride-hailing app on September 22, 2017 in London, England. Leon Neal Getty Images

Apple has been giving Uber access to more than just an iPhone user’s current location.

The company reportedly gave the ride-hailing app access to a tool that would potentially allow Uber to record a user’s screen or access their personal information, even if the app was only running in the background.

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It’s called an “entitlement,” and nearly all iPhone apps have some version of one—it’s the feature that enables things like your camera and Apple Pay. But Business Insider notes that there are some sensitive entitlements that are only for use by Apple—and one of these appeared in the code for Uber’s app.

The entitlement was reportedly first provided to Uber as a means to improve functionality between the app and Apple Watch, as early versions of the watch couldn’t “handle the level of map rendering in the Uber app.”

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Uber representative Melanie Ensign further explained to Business Insider that updates to the watch render the entitlement no longer necessary. In addition, Gizmodo reports that there is no evidence that Uber ever took advantage of this access to gain personal information from Uber users. Still, while the code does not appear to have been used, the entitlement has yet to be removed from Uber’s code.

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