Uber has been spying on users and lying about it for years, former security exec reveals
Uber spying might be one of the best ways to hail a taxi in many cities around the world, but it’s also a controversial service that has been plagued by scandals. The latest one concerns the privacy of users, a feature that Uber has apparently disregarded for a long time. The company said it couldn’t access ride data information for its users, but it turns out that does not accurately represent the truth. Uber employees actually have been able to track people using the app, including high-profile customers.
Uber spying employees helped ex-boyfriends stalk ex-girlfriends, and were even able to access trip information for celebrities like Beyoncé, Reveal News explains. These revelations come from the company’s former in-house forensic investigator Ward Spangenberg.
“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,” Spangenberg said in a court declaration signed in October. He is now suing Uber for age discrimination and whistleblower retaliation. He’s a 45-year-old security expert who worked for various tech companies, Uber included.
Two years ago, news broke that Uber spying could use the “God View” feature to track customers in real-time without their consent, but Uber denied those claims. No less than five former Uber security professionals have told Reveal that Uber still able to track users.
The ability to spy on ride data isn’t the only concern related to Uber that Spangenberg brought up. Apparently, the company is deleting files it’s legally obligated to keep, and it has the capability yo remotely encrypt computers during government raids to prevent data extraction. Spangenberg was a point person when it came to remotely locking down Uber computers.