A group of security researchers have told Gizmodo that Uber’s iOS app is capable recording data from a users’ screen.
Potentially, this means that they can gain access to private information including passwords and messages.
Uber asked for permission from Apple to access the information and are the only app available through the App Store that has been granted this access.
The researchers, Will Strafach and Luca Todesco, said that the information that is available could become a target for hackers if they managed to commandeer Uber’s software, although at present that doesn’t appear to have happened.
It’s not the first time that Uber has been linked with privacy concerns. The first issue was when a company executive showed a reporter that he had tracked her location using their software. On top of that, it appears that Uber have tracked passengers movements after their rides have finished. The company was forced to end this practice and is subject to 20 years of audits from the Federal Trade Commission.
It is not clear how long Uber has been able to record users’ iPhone screens although Uber spokeswoman Melanie Ensign said that the company hadn’t used the permission for “quite some time”. Uber are said to be working with Apple to remove the permission altogether.
Ensign said there was a simple reason it had the permission. The capability “allowed Uber maps to render on your iPhone in the background and then be sent to your Apple Watch,” she said.
“Apple gave us this permission because early versions of Apple Watch were unable to adequately handle the level of map rendering in the Uber app.” Ensign said.
Uber no longer requires the permission due to upgrades to Apple Watch and the Uber app.
Apple haven’t yet commented on the matter.