Former Uber employee, Ward Spangenberg, claims that other employees had access information to not only spy on ex-girlfriends and boyfriends but also on celebrities and politicians. Spangenberg claims that it is Uber’s lack of security that allowed for things like this to come about. Spangenberg was a forensic investigator for the company but was terminated last winter. In turn, Spangenberg decided to sue Uber for defamation of character and discrimination.
Uber argues the accuracy of such claims saying that it has always maintained the privacy of its users. The company firmly stands behind its strict security policy for the protection of customer information. Uber even went as far as to “assurance of discontinuation” in which is promised the protection of its users. A representative for the company says, “Uber continues to increase our security investments and many of these efforts, like our multi-factor authentication checks and bug bounty program, have been widely reported.”
Uber changed one of its tools called “God View”. The “God View” showed an overhead view of the city and held personal information of Uber customers. Uber removed customer information from the tool and had “limited employee access to personally identifiable information in general.” Even after the company made these changes, employees said that nothing really changed and the company never imposed the new rules.
However, Uber claims that employees don’t have access to customer information. Those who were caught tapping into customer information were immediately terminated. Spangenberg commented that “if you knew what you were doing, you could get away with it forever.” In a statement to Business Insider, a representative for Uber said that the company has “hundreds of security and privacy experts working around the clock to protect our data. This includes enforcing strict policies and technical controls to limit access to user data to authorized.” employees solely for purposes of their job responsibilities, and all potential violations are quickly and thoroughly investigated.”