Tag Archives: Uber

AB 886 Would Protect The Privacy Of Uber Passengers

uber user dials up a ride

Assembly Member Chau has pulled AB 886 from consideration. He and Consumer Federation of California are considering promising alternative strategies to protect the privacy of passengers using Uber and other so-called transportation network companies. The sensitive personal data collected by Uber, for example, includes name, address, bank account information, travel logs, as well as personal address books and online search records that it pulls from passenger smartphones. It’s becoming alarmingly common for corporations to “mine” such data and share – or sell – it to other businesses. Read More ›

Stolen Uber User Logins Are For Sale On The Dark Web: Only $1 Each

by Robert Hackett, Fortune magazine

Uber logo

The information is being advertised for sale on the black market AlphaBay, a website that can only be accessed through the Tor browser, an anonymity-preserving network used by political dissidents, privacy-minded Internet users and criminals. One person using the alias “Courvoisier” claims to have “thousands” of “hacked accounts” for sale, each for as little as $1. Read More ›

Uber’s Business Model Could Change Your Work

by Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times

uber exec toys with car and cash

The rise of Uber-like jobs is the logical culmination of an economic and tech system that holds efficiency as its paramount virtue. … “Can you imagine if this turns into a Mechanical Turk economy, where everyone is doing piecework at all odd hours, and no one knows when the next job will come, and how much it will pay? What kind of private lives can we possibly have, what kind of relationships, what kind of families?” said Robert B. Reich, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley who was the secretary of labor during the Clinton administration. Read More ›

Who Should Inspect Lyft, Uber Cars?

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber lyft sidecar vehicle

Vehicle inspections have long been a bone of contention for critics of the ride-hailing services, who contend that regulations are too lax. … Several driver-mentors who do inspections for Lyft said that they received only minimal training, consisting of text and videos on their phones, and that the inspections were largely cosmetic. … Inspections for taxis are more extensive, underscoring the industry’s assertion that it doesn’t operate on a level playing ground. Read More ›

When It’s Time To Flee, Uber Raises Its Rates

by C.W. Nevius, San Francisco Chronicle

uber exec toys with car and cash

Is this just a dumb public relations miscue, or is this just the new model for startup culture? … Rather than anticipate the problem — recognize that surge pricing in an emergency is not a good policy — companies like Uber would rather just put the pedal to the metal and deal with the speed bumps when they come up. Speed bumps like these: San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón sues Uber over what he says are inadequate driver background checks. Portland, Ore., declared Uber illegal, citing a lack of adequate insurance, among other things. Uber has been sued in Madrid and banned in New Delhi. Read More ›

S.F., L.A. Sue Uber ‘To Protect Consumers’; Lyft Settles Charges

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber lyft sidecar vehicle

Privately held Uber last week raised $1.2 billion in funding, giving it a valuation of $40 billion — more than CBS, American Airlines or Kraft Foods. But the San Francisco company continues to anger regulators. In the past week, Uber was banned in India, Spain and Thailand and threatened with a ban in Portland, Ore. … Gascón laid out several allegations against Uber. Uber falsely claims that its driver background checks are superior to those for taxi driversUber charges passengers a $1 “safe rides fee” … and falsely claims that money goes toward “industry-leading” background checks.
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We Can’t Trust Uber

by Zeynep Tufekci and Brayden King, The New York Times (op-ed)

Uber logo

Uber argues that it’s doing only what other technology companies regularly do. That may be true but it only underlines why we need oversight mechanisms that cover all of them. … We need information fiduciaries: independent, external bodies that oversee how data is used, backed by laws that ensure that individuals can see, correct and opt out of data collection. The European Union has established strict controls on personal data that include provisions of privacy, limited and legitimate use and user access to their own data. That shows that accountability is possible. Read More ›

Uber’s Android App Is Reportedly Collecting a Huge Amount of Data Without Your Knowledge

by Chris Smith, BGR

Uber logo

Uber has been recently hit by various controversies, and it looks like the company’s PR team will have one more thing to clean up: its Android application. According to a report from Joe’s Security Blog and a post on Y Combinato’r Hacker News further detailing the matter, the official Uber Android app might be spying on users, collecting various data that it shouldn’t have access to in the first place. Read More ›

Uber and a Fraught New Era for Tech

by Christopher Mims, Wall Street Journal

So, really, why should Uber care about privacy? … I’d like to argue that a company doesn’t have to be like Uber to experience its success. But the evidence is that tech has changed. As more tech companies in name only emerge—think of all the food, infrastructure and other startups for which tech is merely an enabler—they are subject to the same savage market forces that shape every industry they attempt to disrupt. The days when we could just trust the geeks to have more or less our best interests in mind are gone. Read More ›

Leaked Transcript Shows Geico’s Stance Against Uber, Lyft

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber lyft sidecar vehicle

The largest insurer, State Farm, said it would not cover ride-service activities. “We do not insure livery use, therefore, customers should not depend on their personal auto insurance coverage to protect them while driving for a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft,” State Farm spokesman Sevag Sarkissian wrote in an e-mail. “A commercial auto insurance policy is needed to insure against livery use exposures.” Allstate, the third-largest, has a similar policy. Read More ›

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