Uber Whistleblower Reveals Intimate Privacy Allegations
A wrongful termination lawsuit by an ex-employee of Uber exposed some intimate details of Uber's customer tracking capabilities. In the declaration, filed in October, the former employee explains that Uber employees were able to track politicians, celebrities, ex-boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses, and anyone else using the app. The declaration also alleges Uber committed many other privacy and labor violations, and may have just flat out violated other laws regarding the preservation of evidence.
The lawsuit alleges that the employee was terminated after objecting to many different privacy concerns, including those that dealt with monitoring users, as well as complying with authorities requesting information and data preservation. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that the plaintiff was discriminated against based on his age.
God View Controversy
The controversy over Uber's god view, which was later renamed to heaven view, revolves around the company's ability to see everyone as they travel on their network. While there is arguably a very compelling corporate reason to track every ride, there are also safety concerns that one might expect make ride tracking a feature, rather than a drawback. However, where the problem comes in is when the ability to access the heaven view is not restricted on a need to know basis within the company.
As the lawsuit claims, any Uber employee can track any user. So it seems like users do have a valid concern over their privacy rights. Of course, this ends with multiple media outlets claiming that Uber was tracking Beyonce. Although, Uber asserts that user information is safeguarded.
An allegation levied in the declaration recently filed in the Uber litigation details how the company would obstruct law enforcement investigations. After being raided and equipment seized, the company would shutdown access remotely, and just purchase and set up new equipment. Additionally, the declaration specifically calls out Uber for destroying files directly under a litigation hold.
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