Your life's an open book: Uber shared the data of 12 million riders with the feds

uber bug bounty program
You’re sharing rides, and they’re sharing data. If you’ve taken an Uber lately, the company may have given the feds your information. In its first ever transparency report, the San Francisco-based transportation giant revealed it had released information on more than 12 million riders and drivers to various U.S. agencies. Data including trip requests, pickup and drop-off locations, fares, vehicles, and more were turned over upon demand between July and December of 2015, says a Reuters report.

Uber has not yet revealed whether other countries have made similar requests for information, or if the company has complied with such requests.

In the relevant five-month period alone, Uber says it received 415 requests from various law enforcement agencies, many of which were related to fraud or stolen credit card cases. The $60 billion company was willing and able to assist in the majority of the cases, providing relevant data in 85 percent of the time.

The ride-sharing firm’s decision to release this information comes on the heels of similar maneuvers from other tech companies, including Google and Facebook, who are revealing plenty in the name of transparency.

In a blog post announcing the publication of such data, Uber wrote, “Our transparency report is the first report addressing regulated transportation services and includes information about reporting requirements for regulatory agencies. It provides a comprehensive overview of how many times government agencies in the U.S. at the federal, state, and local levels have asked for information about our business or riders and drivers.” The company also noted that, “The report shows that we comply with the majority of law enforcement requests, while ensuring they go through the proper legal process.”

Of course, Uber isn’t revealing all of its secrets. The company points out that its recent report “does not cover information we share in research partnerships with academics, information shared with the consent of a rider or driver, [or] information we’ve voluntarily provided for city planning purposes.” Rather, in those cases, Uber ensures “the data is anonymized and only shared in aggregated form. We may also share data proactively with law enforcement to protect people who use Uber and our company.”

If you’re curious to see just what Uber can and can’t share with the feds and beyond, you can check out their privacy statement here.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

The best weather apps for Android will keep you dry no matter where you go

You may not be able to change the weather, but you can at least be prepared for it. Check out our guide to the best weather apps for Android, so you'll always know what to expect when you step out the front door.

Google tells lawmakers it allows other apps access to your Gmail

Google admitted to lawmakers in a letter that its privacy policy allows third-party apps access to the email messages of its 1.4 billion Gmail users. Google says the apps need the consent of users before access is granted.

Lyft offers some fun stats to celebrate its 1 billionth ridesharing journey

Lyft cars have made a billion journeys since its ridesharing service launched six years ago. Announcing the milestone on Tuesday, September 18, the company revealed a few fun stats about its rides so far.

Huawei is not-so-subtly trolling Friday’s iPhone launch

Apple launches the iPhone XS range to the public on Friday, but Huawei is out in force to remind the public what they could be missing out on (Hint: It's the Mate 20 Pro) by choosing Apple's latest smartphone.

How to buy the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR in the U.K.

The new iPhone range is here, and it consists of three models: The iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR. You can buy the iPhone XS and XS Max in the United Kingdom now, so here's our guide on where to buy one.
Product Review

Don't let the bigger iPhones woo you away: The XS is still a masterpiece

Apple’s next smartphone is here -- the iPhone XS. We think it’s the perfect size for an iPhone, and it manages to impress with astounding performance, and sizable camera improvements.

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.

Audio company Bragi is suing OnePlus over the word 'dash'

Despite taking steps to change to "Warp Charge," OnePlus is being sued by audio company Bragi over the phone manufacturer's continued use of the word "dash" in the Dash Charging used in OnePlus phones.

Android 9.0 Pie is finally rolling out to the OnePlus 6

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

Keep the iPhone XS display crack-free with these screen protectors

Apple might have proclaimed the iPhone XS's glass as being its most durable ever, but that's not going to stop you from wincing if you drop your phone. Stay protected with the best iPhone XS screen protectors.

Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro: Clash of the titans

Anyone seeking a great new smartphone with plenty of money to spend has two amazing options, but which is better for you? We pit the Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro in various categories to help you choose.
Product Review

With its epic screen, Apple's iPhone XS Max is a phone you can live inside

The iPhone XS Max is here. Should you get the massive 6.5-inch iPhone from Apple? Or should you pick the smaller iPhone XS? We’ve been putting the Max through its paces to find out in our review.

Hateful software kills our enthusiasm for newcomer Realme’s $155 Android phone

Realme is a new smartphone brand with an interesting start to life, as it closely mirrors that of OnePlus, a brand we admire. The Realme 2 is its second phone, and we've given it a try to see if it's a winner.