Uber Allegedly Used "God View" To Stalk VIP Users as a Party Trick
Earlier this week, we told you about an Uber launch party where the company showed off its ability to stalk customers as entertainment, according to Julia Allison. Forbes has more details, including the allegation that the real-time location of 30 "notable" users was exposed using Uber's "God View" screen.
According to Forbes, which has a screenshot of the tool, "God View" is an administrative option "which lets them see all of the Ubers in a city and the silhouettes of waiting Uber users who have flagged cars."
The party in question (photographed above) occurred in Chicago back in 2011 and all the details come from Allison, who told Forbes her memory was "not photographic." Harper Reed, ex-CTO for Obama for America, was sitting next to Allison and didn't witness the trick, just "usage visualizations," but he left early.
@markbao I do not doubt that it happened in some regard. I don't remember a granular display. But there was usage visualizations
— harper (@harper) September 29, 2014
One of the users whose exact location was displayed was venture capitalist Peter Sims, who wrote about it on Medium. He was not amused. Forbes says "God View" is still part of Uber's launch party routine:
The GPS party trick would be an illegal sharing of location information, with Uber breaching its contract with users like Sims. Uber still regularly trots out "God View" at launch parties, but a source familiar with the matter said 'Creepy Stalker View' is not a regular offering. Uber's press team did not respond to a request for comment.
Sims post on Medium, which kicked off this revelation, was about whether users can trust Uber. The sole witness says yes:
"Some people get so bent out of shape over nothing. I see the potential for misuse but it's not like they were going to release the information," Allison says.
Yeah, Sims should be thankful the only fallout for using a ride-sharing app was a random creepy text from Julia Allison and not a press release about his location.
[Image via Gettty]