TWENTY FIRST CENTURY TAXI FIRM Uber is again under inspection for doing what people would rather it did not do, with an ex-worker having claimed that the company's systems have been routinely used to infringe on customers' privacy.
In fact, says the Guardian, people including Beyoncé were victim to the bad rules around customer information data management, that also lead to people keeping an eye on old lovers and political peoples using a system called "God View".
The Guardian links to another report, this one on the Centre for Investigative Reporting's (CIR) Reveal project website. It has access to documents from a court case in October when this was all coming to a head thanks to a chap with a great name who blew the whistle.
"For anyone who's snagged a ride with Uber, Ward Spangenberg has a warning: Your personal information is not safe," it says.
"Internal Uber employees helped ex-boyfriends stalk their ex-girlfriends and searched for the trip information of celebrities such as Beyoncé".
Spanderberg's court statements claim that God View was used arbitrarily and was enabled by a frankly piss-poor set up at Uber.
"Uber's lack of security regarding its customer data was resulting in Uber employees being able to track high profile politicians, celebrities, and even personal acquaintances of Uber employees, including ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, and ex-spouses," he said in court.
"I also reported that Uber's lack of security, and allowing all employees to access this information (as opposed to a small security team) was resulting in a violation of governmental regulations regarding data protection and consumer privacy rights...
"When I was at the company, you could stalk an ex or look up anyone's ride with the flimsiest of justifications. It didn't require anyone's approval."
Uber told the reporters there that it had sacked less than 10 people for exploiting internal systems and that this is not the kind of thing that it would stand for.
"We have hundreds of security and privacy experts working around the clock to protect our data," it said. "This includes enforcing strict policies and technical controls to limit access to user data to authorized employees solely for purposes of their job responsibilities, and all potential violations are quickly and thoroughly investigated."
Spanderberg currently has a lawsuit against Uber over his dismissal.
These latest revelations come after it was last week revealed that Uber is tracking users' locations even when they get out of the car. µ
Much a (dil)do about nothing
Neither the time nor the face
The tiny tweaks are coming thick and fast now
Gitting more secure