Forget REAL ID, It’s Uber that Violates Privacy

If you value your privacy, here are four Uber important reasons to consider using a service other than Uber. Below are four initiatives within Uber that used your location to violate your privacy.

Our favorite is Number 4.  When you made this list, did they sell it to Viagra, Trojan or Pea in the Pod maternity wear?

1. Uber “Greyball” – Uber used geolocation data to deceive authorities

worldwide using Greyball—a tool that tracked its riders’ movements in

order to identify, and avoid, police officers and city officials that

attempted to investigate and clamp down on the service.1

2. Uber “God View” – Uber executives and employees bragged about

their geolocation-tracking capabilities at parties by entertaining guests

with God View—a tool that displayed Uber riders’ identities, precise

whereabouts, and movements in real time. This program was also

abused by Uber employees to stalk journalists, celebrities, and ex-girlfriends.2

3. Uber “Hell” – Uber used geolocation data to track Lyft drivers’ precise

movements and habits to draw conclusions about which of its drivers

were also working for Lyft, its top competitor.3

4. Uber “Rides of Glory” – Uber used geolocation data to identify users

that it believed were travelling to or from a “one-night stand,” which it

apparently defined as any person that “took a ride between 10pm and

4am on a Friday or Saturday night, and then took a second ride from

within 1/10th of a mile of the previous nights’ drop-off point 4-6

hours later (enough for a quick night’s sleep).”4

1 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/technology/uber-greyball-program-evadeauthorities.
html?_r=0
2 https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/10/03/god-view-uber-allegedlystalked-
users-for-party-goers-viewing-pleasure/#10dceb8d3141
3 https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/12/hell-o-uber/
4 https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/uber-knows-too-much-about-you;
https://web.archive.org/web/20141118192805/http://blog.uber.com/ridesofglory
(“One of the neat things we can do with our data is discover rider patterns”).