A former Lyft employee has accused staffers of using the ridesharing company’s software to spy on passengers, including obtaining the phone number of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
TechCrunch spoke to the source, who claimed that employees were able to use Lyft’s back-end software to “see pretty much everything including feedback, and yes, pick up and drop off coordinates.”
Another anonymous employee posted on the workplace app Blind that access to clients’ private information was abused.
While staffers warned one another that the data insights tool tracks all usage, there seemed to be little to no enforcement, giving employees free reign over it. They used that access to spy on exes, spouses and fellow Lyft passengers they found attractive. They even looked up celebrity phone numbers, with one employee boasting that he had Zuckerberg’s digits.
One source admitted to looking up their significant other’s Lyft destinations: “It was addictive. People were definitely doing what I was.”
These allegations are similar to the accusations around Uber’s internal tool, “God View,” which made headlines in 2014 when it was reported that a journalist’s ride was tracked without her permission.
“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,” Ward Spangenberg, a former forensic investigator for Uber, wrote in a court declaration.
Although the company claimed the tool was shut down, in 2016 reports surfaced that Uber employees were still abusing the system, now called “Heaven View.”
Lyft provided this statement about the allegations made against their employees: “Maintaining the trust of passengers and drivers is fundamental to Lyft. The specific allegations in this post would be a violation of Lyft’s policies and a cause for termination, and have not been raised with our legal or executive teams. We are conducting an investigation into the matter.”