A former Uber employee has accused Uber of letting employees have free access to security information that would allow them to spy on riders, including celebrities, politicians, and ex-partners.
Former Uber engineer Ward Spangenberg filed suit against the rideshare company after being fired for reformatting his work computer and looking at his own performance review, both of which are violations of official Uber policies, Engadget reported.
Spangenberg claimed he was fired without just cause because of his age (45) and his status as a whistleblower. He also claimed he was asked to encrypt PCs when Revenu Quebec raided Uber on suspected tax evasion, the lawsuit claimed, according to Engadget.
Spangenberg said employees were given free access to “God View,” which allowed them to spy on Uber riders’ locations, and that the honor system was used rather than any security protocols for accessing the data, according to the BBC.
Uber released a statement disputing Spangenberg’s claims, stating that technical and administrative controls are used to limit customer data and that employees’ access is tracked closely. Uber also said possible violations are fully investigated, Engadget stated.
Uber listed several legitimate reasons for employees to have access to trip data and reiterated that only those who needed that access were given it. The BBC noted Uber told the courts “God View” no longer existed and that the new system is an internal tool called “Heaven View.”
In January, Uber paid $20,000 to New York and said it would restrict employee access to data like “God View” in response to an investigation by New York’s attorney general.
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