Companies court potential employees all the time with things like lavish meals, tickets to concerts and sporting events, and much, much more. In the case of Uber, it seems one of those perks was a look behind the curtain of its operations. Citing an anonymous source, The Washington Post reports that an Uber job applicant was given unfettered access to the company's customer ride database after interviewing at its Washington DC offices last year, allowing him to see the travel records of anyone — including family members of politicians. The experience was time-limited, though The Post says that it lasted for "several hours" after the interview concluded.
"Access lasted for several hours after the interview"
In a statement, Uber says its own privacy policies limit data access to "legitimate business purposes," and that its database is monitored and audited by data security specialists. Furthermore, the company says that any violations of that policy "result in disciplinary action, including the possibility of termination and legal action."
Nonetheless, The Post's report is another black mark against Uber's handling of privacy and user data in recent weeks. The company's recently been under fire for two separate incidents involving its executives making privacy gaffes. One involved comments by Uber executive Emil Michael, who, while at a private dinner in New York, suggested spending $1 million to dig up dirt on journalists using a team of "opposition researchers." The other involved Josh Mohrer, general manager of Uber New York, who last month was accused of improperly using the transportation company's tools to track the travels of a journalist, and has since been "disciplined."