Uber – Misusing Customer Data
Uber employees have been accused of spying on high profile customers! An ex-employee is suing Uber for wrongful termination and in a court declaration has made a number of accusations about what and how customer data is used and accessed. Some of the claims are below:
Employees are misusing customer data
Mr Spangenberg (the ex-employee) is claiming that uber employees have been able to track high profile politicians, celebrities and ex’s. He hasn’t specifically mentioned names in the court document, but news.com has named Beyonce.
If true, not only is this an invasion of privacy but the information in the wrong hands is extremely dangerous! Maybe we watch too many Bond films, but think of the impact it could have on International security.
It isn’t the first time that Uber has been accused of doing this. Buzzfeed reported a similar story in 2014. As a result Uber was fined $20,000.
Payroll Information stored in unsecured Google Spreadsheet
Apparently payroll information of employees are stored on an unsecured google spreadsheet. This means if you had the link for the spreadsheet, you or I could see what Uber employees get paid.
All Employees have access to customer and driver Information
The court document, states that information like the social security numbers(TFN/medicare in Aus)of Drivers are available to all employees. No company should provide all data to employees! Common sense dictates that if an employee doesn’t need the information to carry out their job, then they shouldn’t have access to it.
Uber collects a whole lot of information on you
Exhibit A (A sample from the database) is 36 pages. Assuming each page has 20 lines of information, this mean they are collecting about 720 different pieces of information. It is a lot, but collecting a lot of information is not unusual. Think about the ads you see when online, they are tailored to suit you. It displays results based on what you have searched on and what you are interested in. In order to do this companies like google and facebook collect a lot of information about you.
Uber thwarts law enforcement efforts to access Information
We weren’t so shocked by this one. I think most of us assume that big businesses have ways (legal ones) to get around giving information to law enforcement (we love legal dramas too).
Uber regularly delete files they aren’t supposed to
Wording from the case document “… Uber routinely deleted files which were subject to litigation holds …”. From our understanding (based on watching suits) this is definitely illegal. If a court tells you to keep any documents related to a transaction made to XYZ and you delete it, then this is wrong!
Ex-employee didn’t have the opportunity to get employment contracts reviewed by attorney
Mr Spangenberg was given all documents with his offer letter and was required to sign them all and return at the same time.
We are all taught that you need to read something before you sign it. If you need clarification, then you need to ask the person giving you the contract what it means or ask for time to review with a lawyer. It doesn’t mention whether Mr Spangenberg asked and was denied the opportunity to have the documents reviewed by a lawyer. So I chances are that he will be required to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract, unless the contract is deemed unlawful.
This is all very interesting but how does it affect restaurants?
UberEats is powered by Uber. If driver, employee and customer information is accessible by all uber employees, then restaurant information will be in the same boat. What information do you provide to Uber? Do you want all uber employees (6700) to have access to this? With the amount of information they are collecting, how difficult do you think it will be to convince your regular customers to try another restaurant offering similar food?