Opinion

Uber sued over divorce: privacy matters for cheaters - and the rest of us

Mock the adulterous husband, but Uber should be better at protecting data

Ooh la la a French philanderer has sued Uber, saying a bug in the app alerted his wife to his cheating ways.

She's now his ex-wife, as the husband was off somewhere he shouldn't have been, apparently with someone he should not have been with. That said, he clearly valued the relationship more than his behaviour would suggest, as he's sued Uber for $45 million for the loss. A hearing is due later this month, according to the report in Le Figaro.

Advertisement - Article continues below

But there genuinely was a bug with Uber's app that could have had much more serious repercussions than even divorce and Uber has a bit of a track record with privacy issues to begin with.

The odd flaw only struck iOS versions of the app updated since mid-December, and meant that if an iPhone was used to log into the Uber app and then logged out, it kept sending notifications of location. The husband in question borrowed his wife's phone to order an Uber, but then logged out. Despite logging out, she continued to get notified of his rides and location.

The French couple weren't the only ones affected, with reports on Twitter suggesting others have reported the flaw. Uber told the newspaper: "Uber doesn't publicly comment on individual cases, and especially those which concern things such as a divorce procedure."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Such a bug not only has the power to out hidden relationships, but could prove dangerous in cases of abuse, letting the violent party track their partner or ex. A jealous husband or wife or ex could also make use of the flaw for stalking. 

So while it's easy to sneer at an adulterer suing Uber for his own mistakes, the case highlights why such companies need to be much more careful with data and user privacy there are genuine, real-world consequences to their coding mistakes.

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/policy-legislation/data-protection/355184/supreme-court-finds-morrisons-was-not-liable-for-2014
data protection

Supreme Court rules Morrisons was not liable for 2014 data breach

1 Apr 2020
Visit/security/privacy/355048/government-may-trace-covid-19-patients-using-mobile-phone-data
privacy

UK government may trace COVID-19 patients using mobile phone data

20 Mar 2020
Visit/back-up/29084/how-to-enhance-your-backup-strategy
backup

How to enhance your backup strategy

27 Feb 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/354842/irish-data-regulator-racks-up
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Irish data regulator racks up GDPR cases against Big Tech

24 Feb 2020

Most Popular

Visit/security/privacy/355155/zoom-kills-facebook-integration-after-data-transfer-backlash
privacy

Zoom kills Facebook integration after data transfer backlash

30 Mar 2020
Visit/security/data-breaches/355173/marriott-hit-by-data-breach-exposing-personal-data-of-52-million
data breaches

Marriott data breach exposes personal data of 5.2 million guests

31 Mar 2020
Visit/security/cyber-crime/355171/fbi-warns-of-zoom-bombing-hackers-amidst-coronavirus-usage-spike
cyber crime

FBI warns of ‘Zoom-bombing’ hackers amid coronavirus usage spike

31 Mar 2020
Visit/data-insights/data-management/355170/oracle-cloud-courses-are-free-during-coronavirus-lockdown
data management

Oracle cloud courses are free during coronavirus lockdown

31 Mar 2020