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French man sues Uber for €45m claiming glitch allowed wife to track his affair

Husband claims spouse divorced him after tracking his extramarital liaisons using a bug in the app

Ben Chapman
Thursday 09 February 2017 13:11 GMT
A French businessman is suing Uber for €45m
A French businessman is suing Uber for €45m (Reuters)

Uber has found itself in the middle of a messy and potentially very expensive divorce.

A French businessman is suing the company for €45m (£38.3m) after a bug in its app allegedly allowed the man’s wife to track his extramarital liaisons.

According to French newspaper Le Figaro, the man claims the app sent notifications detailing his pick up points, destinations and times to his wife’s phone. The man claims he had logged into his Uber account on his wife’s device once but had subsequently logged out so the notifications should have stopped.

The information made his wife suspect he was having an affair and ultimately led to the breakup of their marriage, the man claims.

It is unclear what caused the malfunction but Le Figaro suggests it is an issue with iPhones running iOS versions older than December 2015. Philanderous Android users, or iPhone users running up-to-date software appear to be safe from detection using this method. It is unclear how many Uber’s 40 million monthly active customers might be affected.

A spokesperson for Uber has declined to comment on the issue, telling Le Figaro that, “Uber doesn’t publicly comment on individual cases, and especially those which concern things such as a divorce procedure.”

It is not the first time Uber has been troubled by accusations that its software can be used for spying.

In December 2016, the company’s former forensic investigator said Uber employees used the so-called “God view”, which allows tracking of any Uber user, to spy on high-profile politicians, celebrities and ex-lovers .

In a signed court declaration, Samuel Ward Spangenberg, who worked at the company between March 2015 and February 2016, said the company's lack of internal security meant staff could track rides in real time.

Despite previous pledges to update security, thousands of employees still had access to the “God View” tool which allows them to spy on almost any customer's movements, Spangenberg said.

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