Uber fined just $20,000 for spying on users in God View

Uber fined just $20,000 for spying on users in God View

In 2014 it emerged that Uber had used a special “God View” application to view a reporter’s location because she was late to a meeting.

What ensued were revelations that the God View tool was available to employees broadly within the company, who could use it with little discretion. The company responded brashly, with executives stating that it could dig up dirt on journalists in response.

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Eventually, Uber backed down and restricted access to the tool internally, but not before Senator Al Franken pressed the company on its apparently loose privacy rules.

Fast-forward more than a year later, and the company has reportedly settled with the State of New York for $20,000 — agreeing to an overhaul of its privacy policy to better protect and encrypt location data of its riders for “legitimate business purposes.”

The fine is shockingly small for a company with a reported valuation of over $64 billion, and appears to only relate to a second data breach which affected Uber drivers in September 2014, which was also bungled into the investigation.

According to BuzzFeed, the settlement says:

“Uber has represented that it has removed all personally identifiable information of riders from its system that provides an aerial view of cars active in a city, has limited employee access to personally identifiable information of riders, and has begun auditing employee access to personally identifiable information in general.”

The settlement is due to be officially announced tomorrow, and Uber has also agreed to notify the Attorney General’s office if it begins collecting GPS data in the background in the future.

➀ Uber Settles With New York Attorney General Over “God View” Tracking Program [BuzzFeed]

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