Skip to main content

Uber pays New York attorney general $20,000 to settle in 'God View' dispute

uber god view settlement new year eve
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.

Related Videos

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.

Editors' Recommendations

New York State joins feds and other states that want to pay you to go electric
2016 Tesla Model 3

Starting April 1, 2017, New York state will begin a rebate program for electric vehicles, according to an Associated Press report. Rebates up to $2,000 will be available, although the final details have yet to be announced.

The purpose of the program is to help consumers who want to buy electric vehicles do so. EVs typically cost more than fossil fuel-powered vehicles, but with the combination of federal and state EV incentives governments hope to bring the costs down. In New York state, both zero emissions all-electric and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles will be eligible for rebates, although whether the rebate amounts will be the same hasn't been made public.

Read more
Not happy with your Wi-Fi speeds in New York? Neither is the attorney general
New York sues Spectrum over Wi-Fi speed based on data from Netflix
An Internet speed test.

You can change names, but apparently, you can't change problems. If you're a New Yorker unhappy with the internet service provided by Charter Communications (which bought Time Warner Cable, rebranding the company as Spectrum), know that you're not alone. Far from it, in fact. On Wednesday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit accusing Spectrum of underdelivering when it comes to internet speeds for its customers.

According to a Reuters report, the lawsuit claims that Spectrum is "systematically defrauding and misleading internet service subscribers by promising service it knew it could not deliver." The case has been filed in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Schneiderman first began a probe into the allegedly slow speeds in October.

Read more
Uber employees used 'God View' to track celebrities and exes, insider alleges
Uber God View

Folks who are wary of Uber because of its surveillance practices might have reason to be that way, since the company's former forensic investigator alleged in a lawsuit that Uber uses its tracking system to keep tabs on "high-profile politicians, celebrities, and even personal acquaintances," reports the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Uber stirred up some controversy with its "God View" technology, which allowed Uber employees to track individual riders in real-time using their private information. The company paid its dues in a settlement back in January, though the company assured users that its policies are strict and prevent employees from committing such actions, barring limited exceptions.

Read more