Sep 09, 2015 07:57 PM EDT
When Uber, an American international transportation company that allows customers to hail a cab through their mobile phones, added its 'Share your ETA' feature to their app, it concerned customers and got various criticisms from the public. The searchable database that consist of sensitive customer information, such as location and direction, was shared publicly through trip.uber.com without the user's consent, and this can also send information to a contact person. The details that can be shared can be traced as far back as 2013.
The public felt violated as this was without consent. They also filed complaints about violating their privacy. Uber, on the other hand, made an action regarding this and could only do as much as limiting the time the information can be viewed online, which, in this case, would be the maximum of 48 hours.
Uber wanted to enlighten the public on the positive side of this feature as this can be useful to those who are lost or to those who want to share their location details with someone trusted. However, the downside of this was discovered by ZDnet after realizing that searching for a certain person on the database could provide multiple searches including the most recent trips that were recorded.
The location was also accurate that you can actually determine the exact location of that person using the Uber map. If this was shared to a trusted person, it could be helpful and assuring. However, this sensitive information when shared online and goes to the wrong hands of strangers could be dangerous as well.
Currently, Uber was treating this as a mere glitch in their system and has already pulled down the domain trip.uber.com.
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