January 8, 2015
On January 6, 2016, the New York State Attorney General’s office announced a settlement reached with Uber Technologies, Inc. (“Uber”). Uber owns and operates a mobile application platform that allows riders to connect with Uber drivers through use of their mobile phones. A series of reports by the online journal BuzzFeed reported on Uber’s “god view,” a tool which tracks and shows an aerial view of all passengers and drivers in a particular area. An employee of Uber used the “god view” tool to track and meet a well-known BuzzFeed writer. The employee subsequently admitted to using the “god view” tool to keep logs of the reporter’s Uber trips and track her movements.
The New York State Attorney General’s office launched a 14-month long investigation involving Uber’s “god view” application, and also investigated reports of a September 2014 data breach where Uber driver names and driver’s license numbers were accessed by an unauthorized third party. The investigations concluded with the announcement of this week’s settlement. The terms of the settlement, according to the New York State Attorney General, will “enhance rider privacy” in the future.
How Will Uber’s Settlement with the NY State Attorney General affect the “God View” app?