The Verge: Driver for Uber and Lyft live-streamed hundreds of riders on Twitch without their consent. Eww. “An Uber and Lyft driver in St. Louis, Missouri has given around 700 rides since March 2018, and nearly all of them have been live-streamed on Twitch, without passenger consent. In a lengthy report, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch detailed the actions of Jason Gargac, a 32-year ride-hailing driver who took advantage of Missouri’s one-party consent laws to build up a Twitch following by live-streaming passengers — including children. At times, Gargac has inadvertently revealed the full names of his riders and what their homes and neighborhoods looked like on his channel, under the online handle ‘JustSmurf.'”
Local Transport Today: Uber launches London journey time database. “Uber has launched a free to access web-based database of road journey time data for London based on aggregated Uber journeys. Uber Movement for London does not provide information about Ubers’ movements around London. Rather it is a database of aggregate journey time data, which does not reveal how many trips have been aggregated in order to answer your query.”
MIT Technology Review: Google and Others Are Building AI Systems That Doubt Themselves. “Researchers at Uber and Google are working on modifications to the two most popular deep-learning frameworks that will enable them to handle probability. This will provide a way for the smartest AI programs to measure their confidence in a prediction or a decision—essentially, to know when they should doubt themselves.”
BuzzFeed: A Bombshell Letter That Could Change Waymo’s Case Against Uber Is Being Kept Confidential For Now. “A single letter may change the course of a billion-dollar civil suit between Uber and Waymo, the self-driving car division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. That letter, a previously undisclosed 37-page document that was only discovered by the court last week, alleges that the ride-hailing giant developed secret, off-the-books efforts to steal trade secrets from rivals and cover its tracks. On Tuesday, Waymo’s lawyers read excerpts of that document aloud to a court, while its signatory, former Uber employee Ric Jacobs, sat on the stand and testified on its wide-ranging allegations.” I haven’t mentioned this court case as much as I could have because it’s peripheral and there are so many other resources to mention. But this is so bonkers I wanted to include it.
Bloomberg: Uber Paid Hackers to Delete Stolen Data on 57 Million People. “Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber Technologies Inc., a massive breach that the company concealed for more than a year. This week, the ride-hailing firm ousted its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps, which included a $100,000 payment to the attackers.”
Reuters: Uber opens up Paris travel database to help city planners. “Uber said on Friday it would open up its trove of travel data in Paris to the public to help city officials and urban planners better understand transportation needs, as the company seeks to woo national authorities. The U.S. ride-hailing app collects huge amounts of data from the billions of trips taken by customers which it uses to improve its services and has recently started to make it available for a number of cities including Washington D.C., Sydney and Boston.”
Oooooo. Digital Trends: Uber Movement Is A Newly Released Treasure Trove Of Data For City Officials . ” At the beginning of the year, the San Francisco-based company made available a tome of data based upon countless rides taken by its millions of customers each and every day. Uber Movement includes data that provides ‘detailed historical insights [that] make it possible to measure the impact of road improvements, major events, new transit lines, and more.’ Now, Uber has made this information available for residents of a number of cities, including Bogota, Colombia; Manila, The Philippines; Sydney, Australia; Boston, and Washington, D.C. If you check out the web app, you can look into average travel times between neighborhoods, and also take a closer look at ETAs depending on time of day and day of the week.”