The New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is expected to announce a settlement with Uber later today regarding a 14-month investigation conducted by his office over the privacy and security practices of Uber.
In particular, Schneiderman has been investigating the use of a “God View,” which Uber apparently used to track riders. People at Uber were able to use private information to track individual riders on its platform.
BuzzFeed reports that Uber has agreed to a $20,000 settlement penalty for its intrusive system. It has also agreed to more rigorous security standards, like password and encryption locks for its riders on the system, ensuring that engineers and other employees at Uber are unable to stalk riders.
The investigation also covered a data breach on September 2014, which was not reported to the attorney general’s office until February 2015. Uber faces another $20,000 fine for not reporting the data breach in a timely fashion.
Uber has made several privacy and security changes in the last 12 months as it tries to fix its reputation. The company has received quite a lot of bad press, in part due to its own negligence with executives offering to pay $1 million to “dig up dirt” on journalists and increased regulatory tension in San Francisco and New York.
That poor reputation doesn’t seem to be hurting the company’s value, with $4.9 billion in total financing in 2015. Uber is currently valued at around $50 billion, but doesn’t have plans in the near future to go public, with internal documents hinting at a late 2016 or early 2017 initial public offering.
In that time, Uber will face a myriad of other issues including the start of autonomous driving, the Lyft and General Motors deal, Google’s self-driving empire, and drone programs removing the need for delivery drivers — another area in which Uber is attempting to expand.
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