Lyft's New Data Restrictions May Not Be Enough to Keep Creepy Employees From Snooping on Users

The new security measures were added after Lyft found that employees were spying on riders.

AP Photo/Noah Berger

In 2018, Lyft investigated claims that employees accessed customer data to stalk current and former significant others and collect the personal information of celebrities. The company has followed through with new security measures that restrict employee access to ride-hailing users' data, reports The Information.

Lyft employees who look up rider data will now receive a warning message reminding them that their actions could be audited. The company has also reportedly moved to restrict access to user data to only those employees that need it to do their jobs. But employees told The Information that the policy changes may not be enough, claiming it is still relatively easy to access user data despite the new restrictions.

Employees now also receive training on the proper handling of user data immediately upon joining Lyft, which wasn't the case before. The training reportedly emphasizes that it is against company policy to access customer data for personal use, and that data should not be shared outside the company. But there is still nothing preventing employees from accessing that data, so the company must trust that they will adhere to its policies.

Lyft's new security measures for customer data are similar to Uber's, but the Uber's "appear to be more robust," The Information noted. Uber was previously accused of using a program called "God View" to track individual people, as well as a program called "Hell" to track drivers. The customer-data scandal proved particularly inconvenient for Lyft, which has tried to portray itself as a morally superior alternative to Uber in order to grow market share. 

Lyft is considered Uber's main rival in the United States, but it's a much smaller company. Both companies recently launched initial public offerings (IPOs), with Lyft valued at $24 billion and Uber valued at an estimated $120 billion.