Lyft Investigates Allegation That Employees Abused Customer Data

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Lyft is investigating whether employees abused access to its customers’ data, a spokeswoman said on Thursday, after a current or former Lyft employee anonymously alleged online that some employees had tracked Lyft rides taken by their romantic partners and pulled information about celebrities such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

From The Information. Story by By Amir Efrati.

The ride-hailing firm confirmed that Lyft engineers can look up customer data, including records of their pickups and dropoffs. She noted that the company hadn’t received any internal complaint about the matter.

“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,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

Lyft’s rival Uber faced similar allegations several years ago when employees there were found to have tracked individual customers using the company’s “God view” internal tool. Uber responded at the time that it would restrict such data.

Revelations about engineer access surfaced on Thursday in an anonymous post on an app called Blind, which employees (and former employees) of companies use to share information or grievances anonymously. Someone identifying themselves as having worked at Lyft claimed to have “seen people look their exes up,” presumably meaning ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends. The person also claimed to have seen employees “check to see if their significant other actually went where they said, and stalk attractive people they’ve met” while riding in Lyft’s ride-sharing service, called Lyft Line.

In the post, the person also said Lyft employees had used the tool to look up the “rider ratings” of execs at Lyft and other companies. “I’ve heard at least one employee brag about having Zuck’s phone number from using our data,” the person said, using the nickname for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (Mr. Zuckerberg did not have a comment for this article.) “Another employee has bragged about collecting the info of Hollywood actresses and porn stars,” the anonymous person said.

Read more at The Information.

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Photo: Josh Edelson/AP for Lyft