Beware of web services whose real product is you

Net Results: too often a handy app harvests your data details for sale to third parties

Uber app logo: Uber did not agree to “co-operate and comply with the EU and/or Swiss Data Protection Authorities”. Photograph: Neil Hall

Uber app logo: Uber did not agree to “co-operate and comply with the EU and/or Swiss Data Protection Authorities”. Photograph: Neil Hall

The New York Times’ unflattering profile last weekend of Uber founder Travis Kalanick (nytimes.com/2017/04/23/technology/travis-kalanick-pushes-uber-and-himself-to-the-precipice.html) provides some jaw-dropping disclosures. Not just about Kalanick, but – thanks to a number of anecdotes –the cavalier attitude digital era companies have towards data privacy.

For me, the most astonishing revelation was that Kalanick had “pulled a fast one on Apple by directing his employees to help camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple’s engineers. The reason? So Apple would not find out that Uber had been secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased.”

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