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Published: Wed, December 14, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Uber's 'God View' Is Alive and Well, Say Former Employees


He's suing his former employer for age discrimination and whistle-blower retaliation, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Ride-sharing company Uber came under fire two years ago for tracking its customers and peeking into travel data from celebrities and high-profile personalities.

In a statement, Uber said it maintains strict policies to protect customer data and comply with legal proceedings.

However, the employee also said that only certain teams have access to various levels of customer data, and when these employees do access it, they're logged, making it hard to hide their activities.

Also open for Uber employees' perusal: its drivers' Social Security numbers, which Spangenberg says "were available ... to all Uber employees, without regard to any particular level of employment or security clearance".

What's more, if an employee has access to some customer data, she does not have access to all customer data.

At issue is the company's so-called "God View", which first made news in 2014.

Uber, for its part, denies all the claims. Spangenberg said that the company was so obsessed with growth that security was "an afterthought".

Other former Uber security engineers reaffirmed Spangenberg's security concern.

This news comes after a new update on the taxi app allowed Uber to collect passenger data up to five minutes after a journey has finished.

The company confirmed that "fewer than 10" employees had been fired for abused the "God View" feature, which is now renamed "Heaven View".

Uber staffers have used their insider app access to stalk their exes and celebrities as famous as Beyoncé, one ousted employee claimed.

He said the company did make some reforms to improve security but added those who knew what they were doing "could get away with it forever". All data access is logged and routinely audited, and all potential violations are quickly and thoroughly investigated.

A LinkedIn profile associated with Spangenberg showed that he worked for Uber from March 2015 to February 2016.

A former Uber security expert says Uber drivers are illegally helping men stalk their ex-girlfriends, as well as tracking the movements of politicians and celebrities - including Beyonce.

In testimony, Mr Spangenberg said he ws often called when government agencies raided the firm's offices because of concerns over noncompliance with government rules.

Uber insists it has strict guidelines and policies in place to prevent unauthorized access to its customers' data. Access is granted to specific types of data based on an employee's role and the specific goal at hand. If a rider requests a refund, an authorized customer support representative would access to data needed to credit that rider's account.

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