Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Software Transportation Technology

Former Employees Say Lyft Staffers Spied On Passengers (techcrunch.com) 28

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Similar to Uber's "God View" scandal, Lyft staffers have been abusing customer insight software to view the personal contact info and ride history of the startup's passengers. One source that formerly worked with Lyft tells TechCrunch that widespread access to the company's backend let staffers "see pretty much everything including feedback, and yes, pick up and drop off coordinates." When asked if staffers, ranging from core team members to customer service reps, abused this privilege, the source said "Hell yes. I definitely looked at my friends' rider history and looked at what drivers said about them. I never got in trouble." Another supposed employee anonymously reported on workplace app Blind that staffers had access to this private information and that the access was abused. Our source says that the data insights tool logs all usage, so staffers were warned by their peers to be careful when accessing it surreptitiously. For example, some thought that repeatedly searching for the same person might get noticed. But despite Lyft logging the access, enforcement was weak, so team members still abused it. A Lyft spokesperson issued the following statement to TechCrunch: "Maintaining the trust of passengers and drivers is fundamental to Lyft. The specific allegations in this post would be a violation of Lyft's policies and a cause for termination, and have not been raised with our Legal or Executive teams. We are conducting an investigation into the matter. Access to data is restricted to certain teams that need it to do their jobs. For those teams, each query is logged and attributed to a specific individual. We require employees to be trained in our data privacy practices and responsible use policy, which categorically prohibit accessing and using customer data for reasons other than those required by their specific role at the company. Employees are required to sign confidentiality and responsible use agreements that bar them from accessing, using, or disclosing customer data outside the confines of their job responsibilities."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Former Employees Say Lyft Staffers Spied On Passengers

Comments Filter:
  • by msauve ( 701917 )
    "A Lyft spokesperson issued the following statement..."

    Which noticeably didn't end with "...and any and all employees who have violated that policy will be immediately fired for cause, with no termination benefits."
    • Re:And? (Score:5, Informative)

      by denbesten ( 63853 ) on Thursday January 25, 2018 @09:03PM (#56004549)

      "A Lyft spokesperson issued the following statement..."

      Which noticeably didn't end with "...and any and all employees who have violated that policy will be immediately fired for cause, with no termination benefits."

      Probably because the spokesman started with "...would be a violation of Lyft's policies and a cause for termination..."

      • by msauve ( 701917 )
        Whoosh. Jaywalking is a cause for a fine. When's the last time you met someone who was fined for jaywalking?
      • "A Lyft spokesperson issued the following statement..."

        Which noticeably didn't end with "...and any and all employees who have violated that policy will be immediately fired for cause, with no termination benefits."

        Probably because the spokesman started with "...would be a violation of Lyft's policies and a cause for termination..."

        Those aren't the same thing.

        "Oh, that would be awful! Someone could get fired for doing that! All of our employees are required to comply with policy and have taken a shitty online training course where they click "next" every 30 seconds and ignore all the content."

        • The fact that access is limited to "certain team members" is irrelevant. This whole thing is about what those team members did once given that access.

          If they don't have a policy like many police departments do (and all should), such that any non-job-related access to the database is grounds for immediate dismissal, then they aren't protecting your privacy.

          (As for police departments: in my state, if an officer uses the informational database without a legitimate, written reason, it is a crime.)
          • Policy doesn't mean shit. "Grounds for" doesn't mean shit.
            Policy is there to give them an excuse to fire people when they want to. Enforcement is 100% optional.

    • by thsths ( 31372 )

      Exactly. The issued statement is noticeable in that it actually confirms the allegations. "have not been raised" means that Lyft has done fu*k all about it.

    • What they need to do is send the corporate Gestapo to track this guy down

      "Hell yes. I definitely looked at my friends' rider history and looked at what drivers said about them. I never got in trouble."

      Then they'd tell al the employees to stand outside the company and watch him be shouted at by a Friesler style [youtube.com] prosecutor and then hauled away for punishment.

      Only this will redeem the honour of Germany Army, err Lyft and cleanse them of the stain of privacy violations.

  • by Camel Pilot ( 78781 ) on Thursday January 25, 2018 @08:12PM (#56004283) Homepage Journal

    "Hell yes. I definitely looked at my friends' rider history and looked at what drivers said about them"

    I can't imagine how boring and petty life must be to be motivated to spend time looking up shit like this...

  • If you use a service that tracks everything, you have to assume people will look at it. I mean, why would the company care about keeping your information completely private?
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday January 25, 2018 @08:23PM (#56004341)
    when it does you discipline and/or fire the people involved. Lyft and Uber both have done terrible things. But this? This is a big 'ole nothingburger.
  • by BBF_BBF ( 812493 ) on Thursday January 25, 2018 @09:02PM (#56004545)

    This is Why We Can't Have Good Things.

    There will always be some *ssHoles that will abuse their privileges and companies that are unwilling to live up to their responsibilities as gatekeepers to such personal data.

    Let's hope Lyft analyzes their data access logs and properly metes out appropriate punishment to those that abused their privileges.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by msauve ( 701917 )
      "There will always be some *ssHoles"

      This is /. You can write "asshole" and it won't be redacted or changed, your post will still post, and your account won't be canceled. Really!
  • Everyone I know who's worked at the phone company and had the ability to, has listened in to phone calls. It's human nature. One telco employee I met mentioned listening to Lucille Ball's calls when he was bored. You can never expect full privacy of anything that leaves your house.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.

Working...