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    Watching Queen Bey? Court Papers Claim Uber Employees Spied on Beyonce

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    A former Uber employee is suing the company, claiming that he was fired for blowing the whistle on former coworkers abusing the technology to stalk politicians, love interests and celebrities, including Beyoncé.

    Samuel Ward Spangenberg, 45, a former forensic investigator for Uber, was fired just months after he reported his concerns to his bosses.

    “Uber’s lack of security regarding its customer data was resulting in Uber employees being able to track high profile politicians, celebrities, and even personal acquaintances of Uber employees, including ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, and ex-spouses,” Spangenberg said in his court declaration for the lawsuit.

    Spangenberg also claims that a former coworker had looked up the ride history of Beyoncé Knowles, clearly violating the celebrity’s privacy and the company’s employee rulebook. 

    Perhaps even more alarming, Spangenberg claims that all Uber employees had easy access to information, including social security numbers.

    “The only information, truthfully, that I ever felt was safe inside of Uber is your credit card information,” he stated in the filing. “Because it’s not stored by Uber.”

    The company has long maintained that employees cannot access user ride data, despite a report two years ago that workers could access a feature called “God View,” which was capable of tracking riders without their knowledge or consent. Uber adamantly denied the claims at the time.

    Now, at least five former employees of the company are backing up Spangenberg’s statements. They claim that the company operates on an employee “honor system” to protect user privacy.

    “When I was at the company, you could stalk an ex or look up anyone’s ride with the flimsiest of justifications,” Michael Sierchio, who left the company in 2015, told the Center for Investigative Reporting. “It didn’t require anyone’s approval.”

    Uber claims that Spangenberg was fired for violating a company code of conduct policy by reformatting his computer, although he maintains this was done to fix it following a crash.

    Spangenberg is also suing Uber for age discrimination.

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    Tags:
    Whistleblower, Lawsuit, Privacy, Uber, Samuel Ward Spangenberg, Beyonce
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