Friday, 15 November, 2019

Uber settles federal probe over 'God View' spy software

Uber settles federal probe over 'God View' spy software Uber settles federal probe over 'God View' spy software
Debra Rodriguez | 17 August, 2017, 01:30

The FTC's complaint alleged that the ride hailing service "rarely monitored internal access to personal information about users and drivers", despite claims to the contrary.

And, in January 2016, Uber agreed to encrypt all rider geo-location data, as well as to pay a penalty of $20m (£16m) to settle concerns over how it had handled the data breach.

Uber has a strict policy prohibiting all employees at every level from accessing a rider or driver's data.

The FTC said Uber didn't take enough steps to secure data, such. The company has agreed to the settlement, including a requirement to undergo a third-party audit every two years for the next 20 years, ensuring it is following the new measures. If it violates the settlement, Uber may face fines of up to $US40,654 ($51,760) per violation.

Last June, a top Uber executive obtained the medical records of a woman who, in 2014, had been raped by an Uber driver in India.

Not covered by the FTC investigation was Uber's use of the software tool "Greyball" to avoid enforcement of local taxi laws, to which it admitted in March. "This case shows that even if you're a fast-growing company, you can't leave consumers behind: You must honor your privacy and security promises", she said.

Remember when Uber employees were reportedly tracking their ex-girlfriends and Beyoncé with a secret God View feature? The company's privacy policy states it can collect location information while customers are using the app as well as after the app is closed if it is still running in the background of a customer's phone.

Hoffenheim 0-1 Liverpool
Andrej Kramaric took the penalty only for Simon Mignolet to spoil his day as he punched the ball with both hands to keep the game goalless.

This is the second Uber-FTC settlement of 2017.

The FTC also alleged that Uber failed to provide reasonable security for its drivers' and users' sensitive data - including names, driver's license numbers, bank account details and Social Security numbers - resulting in a data breach that affected more than 100,000 drivers.

Uber said the allegations date to 2014, and before the government complaint, it had already put safeguards in place to protect data.

"Uber did not take reasonable, low-priced measures that could have helped the company prevent the breach", the commission said, noting that it did not require engineers and programmers to use distinct access keys to access personal information stored in the cloud.

Uber noted that the issues covered in the FTC investigation occurred years ago, and in 2015 the company hired its first chief security officer and "now employ hundreds of trained professionals dedicated to protecting user information". Uber will continue to work with the FTC to make sure its programs "protect user privacy and personal information", the spokesperson said.

Uber is also being sued by a former employee who claims he was sacked after blowing the whistle about insecure data practices at the company.

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