Uber settlement sees company paying 20000 dollars fine, basically peanuts for its value. Nonetheless, the settlement between Uber and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman concludes the 14-month long investigation into Uber’s privacy practices.
The controversial use of the God View tool by Uber had been the fire starter for the company. Starting in November 2014, the investigation into Uber’s privacy practices focused on the God View tracking system. Allegedly, the God View tool was used by one of Uber’s executives to track a reporter without her knowledge or permission over a period of time.
The tracking system could well be used to identify other Uber riders based on personal information. God View was only the beginning of Uber’s troubles. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman expanded the investigation to include another aspect of Uber’s privacy practices that didn’t look too well at the time.
The key element that ultimately got Uber in trouble was the company failing to report that a security breach was leaking Uber drivers’ personal information to third parties. While Uber had knowledge of the fact some months before, it only made the information public in February 2015. Now, as part of the agreement, Uber settlement sees company paying 20000 dollars fine to the New York AG office simply for failing to duly report the unauthorized third-party access to Uber drivers personal information.
In addition to the peanuts Uber is taking out of the pocket, the company also announced that more severe security and privacy practices will be pursued. After all, it was Uber’s privacy practices regarding both Uber drivers and Uber riders that got the company under heat.
Enhanced privacy practices include but are not limited to geo-location encryption in addition to password protection. These two features are meant to protect data of Uber riders, as well as Uber drivers so as only a limited number of Uber employees can have access specifically under ‘legitimate business purposes’. Multi-factor authentication as well as other protection features will be incorporated by Uber.
The investigation into Uber’s privacy practices was sparked by a series of BuzzFeed News investigative reports. Following the settlement between Uber and the New York Attorney General office, BuzzFeed News reported that a copy of the settlement reads:
“Uber had 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 paragraph refers both to unauthorized third party access to Uber drivers personal information as well as to the God View tracking system.
Photo Credits: Flickr
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