Nov 192014

There is no news in this for folks who follow privacy issues here, but it is a nice reminder. Uber triggered an internet kerfuffle when its CEO suggested consumers should find and weaponize data about journalists who he thought had just written critically of his company. Quoting the linked article:

An Uber executive’s suggestion that the company should investigate the private lives of journalists has sparked a backlash against the popular car service, offering a potent reminder that tech companies are amassing detailed — and potentially embarrassing — records of users’ communications, Internet traffic and even physical movements.

He’s had to walk that back (quickly) but the whole exchange reminds people of what they usually want to forget – that these companies posses (and increasingly leverage) immense data about our daily lives. Consider just what Uber has and could use, as they stated in their blog about rides of glory, or said carefully, Uber knows where you been.

Most consumers try hard not to think about how much they rely on the restraint of others who have no self-interest in protecting privacy yet every self-interest in exploiting information. Most try hard to be naive. Many later get a rude surprise.

 Posted by at 7:56 am on November 19, 2014