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Image credit: Chris Helgren / Reuters

Lyft investigates claims staff abused access to customer data

Allegedly using it to stalk exes to nab personal info on executives.
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Chris Helgren / Reuters

A user posted on the anonymous app Blind claiming that Lyft employees abused their access to customer data, from gathering info on exes to acquiring Mark Zuckerberg's personal info. A Lyft spokesperson confirmed to The Information that the company is investigating whether these incidents occurred.

The anonymous user, who claimed to have worked at Lyft, painted a lurid picture of how employees abused their unusually high access to customer data. Some would look up their ex-romantic partners, while others check whether their significant others were headed where they said.

This user claimed to have 'seen employees' do all this and more, including stalking attractive people they'd met while taking the multi-rider Lyft Line service. They'd even use the access to look up the 'rider ratings' and personal information of executives at Lyft and other companies -- one bragged about snagging Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's phone number -- as well as Hollywood actresses and porn stars, according to The Information.

Each query into the customer database is logged and attributed to a specific employee, according to a statement provided to The Information. All employees are trained in data privacy and responsible use policy, which prohibit abusing customer data for reasons other than required by that employee's specific role. And, of course, they're required to sign confidentiality and "responsible use" agreements barring them from accessing, using or disclosing customer data beyond their job needs.

At least these are standard expectations for responsibility for a company handling customer data. Uber got in trouble two years ago for giving employees similar access to its user information in its 'God View' program, but characteristically didn't overtly restrict its workers from abusing it until the company was slapped with a $20,000 fine by the NY Attorney General's office.

We've reached out to Lyft for comment and will include it when we hear back.

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