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Uber Investigating Executive For Tracking Reporter Using Uber Data

While Uber has yet to fire the executive who called for Uber’s media critics to be personally destroyed, it has begun an investigation into Josh Mohrer, Uber’s general manager in New York, for possibly tracking a reporter using Uber data raising concerns that people within the company are using private information from Uber users for nefarious purposes.

Uber has an internal tool called “God’s View” that allows Uber employees to track people’s use of Uber which includes extensive private information about when and where they traveled while using the transportation service. Information gleaned from using God’s View could be considerably useful in preparing an opposition research file like the kind talked about by Emil Michael vis a vis reporters critical of the company.

Mohrer is said to have told the reporter, Johana Bhuiyan of BuzzFeed, that he had been tracking her.

Early this November, one of the reporters of this story, Johana Bhuiyan, arrived to Uber’s New York headquarters in Long Island City for an interview with Josh Mohrer, the general manager of Uber New York. Stepping out of her vehicle — an Uber car — she found Mohrer waiting for her. “There you are,” he said, holding his iPhone and gesturing at it. “I was tracking you.”

Mohrer never asked for permission to track her. Two months earlier, to make a point about questions Bhuiyan had asked about ride-share competitor Lyft, Mohrer had emailed her logs of some of her Uber trips. He had not asked for permission to access her data.

Was Uber planning to use private location data for their project to attack media critics of the company? Have they already? What is stop a vengeful executive or groups of executives from doing so now or in the future?

Uber’s Ayn Randian CEO, Travis Kalanick, took to Twitter to apologize for his underling’s comments about planning to smear journalists. Kalanick has not, so far as we know, asked for Emil Michael’s resignation nor offered comment as to whether Uber employees are free to track people’s travel logs – though with the news that the God’s View tool exists it’s clear they can.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Uber Investigating Executive For Tracking Reporter Using Uber Data

While Uber has yet to fire the executive who called for Uber’s media critics to be personally destroyed, it has begun an investigation into Josh Mohrer, Uber’s general manager in New York, for possibly tracking a reporter using Uber data raising concerns that people within the company are using private information from Uber users for nefarious purposes.

Uber has an internal tool called “God’s View” that allows Uber employees to track people’s use of Uber which includes extensive private information about when and where they traveled while using the transportation service. Information gleaned from using God’s View could be considerably useful in preparing an opposition research file like the kind talked about by Emil Michael vis a vis reporters critical of the company.

Mohrer is said to have told the reporter, Johana Bhuiyan of BuzzFeed, that he had been tracking her.

Early this November, one of the reporters of this story, Johana Bhuiyan, arrived to Uber’s New York headquarters in Long Island City for an interview with Josh Mohrer, the general manager of Uber New York. Stepping out of her vehicle — an Uber car — she found Mohrer waiting for her. “There you are,” he said, holding his iPhone and gesturing at it. “I was tracking you.”

Mohrer never asked for permission to track her. Two months earlier, to make a point about questions Bhuiyan had asked about ride-share competitor Lyft, Mohrer had emailed her logs of some of her Uber trips. He had not asked for permission to access her data.

Was Uber planning to use private location data for their project to attack media critics of the company? Have they already? What is stop a vengeful executive or groups of executives from doing so now or in the future?

Uber’s Ayn Randian CEO, Travis Kalanick, took to Twitter to apologize for his underling’s comments about planning to smear journalists. Kalanick has not, so far as we know, asked for Emil Michael’s resignation nor offered comment as to whether Uber employees are free to track people’s travel logs – though with the news that the God’s View tool exists it’s clear they can.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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