Last year I wrote a piece entitled “Why the government elite love Uber: Your travel is now a searchable public record.” Read it here: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2015/08/13/why-the-government-elite-love-uber-your-travel-is-now-a-searchable-public-record/ In it, I warned that with the convenience of Uber comes the inevitable loss of privacy and government surveillance. It was just too juicy a target for Big Brother’s mass surveillance and data collection and I predicted Uber was here to stay because the government was reaping too much information about you from Uber. Well, it didn’t take long for my prediction to prove prescient.
Just last month (April 2016), it became very public across the internet that Uber had in fact been providing data from over 12 million users to the US Government. Read it here: http://www.infowars.com/uber-admits-it-gave-data-on-12-million-users-to-u-s-government/ Anyone interested in their basic privacy should immediately question why the US government is so interested in their travel habits. Not only is it very disturbing, but it is a very intimate invasion of privacy. Considering over 12 million records were turned over, it clearly isn’t about investigating criminal activity and using probable cause to obtain a search warrant pursuant to the Fourth Amendment. No, this is blatant mass surveillance of the population, which is unconstitutional.
As most would say, “I have nothing to hide.” Well, if that was the case then why is your government spending billions of dollars to track you and warehouse all of that data about you if you are so insignificant and innocent? Clearly your government does suspect you of something. As a free society, we need to demand this stops and our tax dollars are not used to surveil us and collect our private data. Further, for all of those self-righteous Congressmen that allow this illegal, unconstitutional activity to go on, I can’t wait till Anonymous gets that data and starts to cross reference it with seedy establishments, mistresses, and addresses known to cater to alternative lifestyles. Perhaps when that information comes out, suddenly, Congress will have a constitutional epiphany and start restricting this type of mass data collection and surveillance.
If you don’t like Big Brother tracking your every move while using your favorite ride sharing app, then you need to write a few emails. Fortunately, Uber is a private corporation that is still reactive to its customer base so ten minutes of your time could be very beneficial. If it becomes clear to Uber it is losing money because they provide our private data to third parties, they will take action. I need everyone to contact Uber and demand three things. The first is that our information is not provided to third parties. The second is that they institute privacy controls to protect data and allow for us to travel with true anonymity. Third, they must modify their business so that our personal travel information is not collected and stored, which therefore totally removes the motivation for third parties to try and obtain data that don’t exist. I would go so far as to threaten a law suit. The next thing you can do is write your congressmen and make it clear that if they fail to take action, eventually, their dirty secrets are going to come out. Finally, do your part to educate your peers and the public about this abuse of power and make the case clearly that our privacy is valuable and must be protected.
By Guiles Hendrik
May 10, 2016