Uber, Privacy Not. Driving in the scientology zone

Update: Uber’s Android app caught reporting data back without permission

Security researcher GironSec has pulled Uber’s Android app apart and discovered that it’s sending a huge amount of personal data back to base – including your call logs, what apps you’ve got installed, whether your phone is vulnerable to certain malware, whether your phone is rooted, and your SMS and MMS logs, which it explicitly doesn’t have permission to do. It’s the latest in a series of big-time missteps for a company whose core business model is, frankly, illegal in most of its markets as well.

Taxi-busting ride share app Uber might have an operating model that suits customers better than traditional, regulated taxi services – but the company’s aggressively disruptive (and frequently illegal) business practices don’t seem to stop at harming the taxi industry.


The controversy stemmed from remarks by Uber Senior Vice President Emil Michael on Friday night as he spoke of his desire to spend $1 million to dig up information on “your personal lives, your families,” referring to journalists who write critically about the company, according to a report published Monday night by Buzzfeed. The same story said a different Uber executive once had examined the private travel records of a Buzzfeed reporter during an e-mail exchange about an article without seeking permission to access the data.

What was ol’ Elron Hubbards mode of operation for critics:

Noisy investigations are used by the Church of Scientology to intimidate, harass, and attack their enemies. The Church used to openly label such people as Fair Game. The goal of a noisy investigation may not be to find out anything, but to harass the person being investigated. The procedure is to contact friends, neighbours, co-workers, etc. and inform them that they are investigating crimes by the target person.[1]

via Uber executive stirs up privacy controversy – The Washington Post.