File photo – The logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street is seen in this photo illustration taken in Madrid on Dec. 10, 2014.
(REUTERS/Sergio Perez )
Uber is probably one of the best ways to get a taxi in many cities around the world, but it is also a controversial service that is plagued by scandals.
The last is about the privacy of users. The company has said that it couldn’t access the trip information for its users. A former Uber security expert, however, maintains that employees are able to people using the app, including high-profile customers.
Uber employees helped ex-boyfriends stalking ex-girlfriends, and were even able to gain access to information about the trip for celebrities such as Beyonce, Reveal News tells. These revelations of the company’s former in-house forensic investigator, District of Spangenberg.
“Uber is the lack of safety of the data of the customer that results in the Uber employees are able to high-profile politicians, celebrities and even personal acquaintances of Uber employees, including ex-boyfriends/girlfriends and ex-spouses,”Spangenberg said in a legal declaration signed in October. He is now suing Uber for age discrimination and whistleblower retaliation. He is a 45-year-old security expert who has worked for several tech companies, Uber included.
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Two years ago, news broke that Uber could use the “God View” feature to track customers in real-time, without their consent, but Uber denied these allegations. No less than five former Uber security professionals have told Reveal that Uber is still able to track users.
The ability to spy on the rit data is not the only concern with regard to Uber that Spangenberg. Reportedly, the company is deleting files, it is legally mandatory to keep, and it has the ability to remotely encrypt computers during the government raids to prevent data extraction. Spangenberg was a wise person when it came to the remote locking of Uber-computers.
According to the security expert, even drivers personal data, like social security numbers easily accessible to all Uber employees. However, the data of your credit card is apparently safe. “The only information that is, to truth, that I have ever had was safely on the inside of Uber has your credit card information,” he said. “Because it is not stored by Uber.”
Spangenberg objected to the company’s “reckless and illegal practices,” and Uber fired him 11 months after he joined the company in March 2015. Uber says that the layoffs Spangenberg, because he violated a code of conduct, policies, and reformat his computer. The security expert argued that he just started with the reconstruction of the laptop after a crash.
“When I joined the company, you could stalk an ex, or look at everyone’s ride with the flimsiest of justifications,” Michael Sierchio, who is a senior security engineer at Uber, told the site. “It is not necessary that someone’s approval.”
Uber allegedly was more interested in the rapid growth of the enforcement of a strong security. “Early on, ‘growth at all costs’ is the mantra, so you can imagine that security was an afterthought,” Sierchio added. “One of the things that I was told is, ‘It is not a security company.'”
Sierchio was pushed out of the company in June.
Uber, meanwhile, said he fired less than 10 employees, who abused the function, adding that the “hundreds of security and privacy experts work around the clock to protect our data.” According to the security experts, the Uber policy is based on the honour system, that employees abuse the system at any time they want.
Uber has set a policy to prevent abuse, but they may not necessarily work if the employees know how to avoid them. “If you knew what you were doing, you could always,” Spangenberg said. “The access is there, so it was a matter of whether you have been caught in the noise.”
The Reveal‘s full report is available at this link.