Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Tucked away in a rollicking New York Times profile of amoral Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a tidbit about Unroll.me, a popular service that aims to rescue your email inbox from unwanted newsletters and promotional messages with an easy automated unsubscribe service. The problem is, it’s been selling you out to advertisers, and you should stop using it immediately.
The Kalanick profile says that Uber previously used Unroll.me data to gauge the health of archrival Lyft:
Uber devoted teams to so-called competitive intelligence, purchasing data from an analytics service called Slice Intelligence. Using an email digest service it owns named Unroll.me, Slice collected its customers’ emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the anonymized data to Uber. Uber used the data as a proxy for the health of Lyft’s business. (Lyft, too, operates a competitive intelligence team.)
Slice confirmed that it sells anonymized data (meaning that customers’ names are not attached) based on ride receipts from Uber and Lyft, but declined to disclose who buys the information.
I can’t stress enough the importance of your privacy. We never, ever release personal data about you. All data is completely anonymous and related to purchases only. To get a sense of what this data looks like and how it is used, check out the Slice Intelligence blog.
This is by all evidence false: If your privacy were important to Jojo Hedaya, the contents of your email, even if anonymized, would not be for sale. Were he ever serious about keeping your inbox private, an apology blog wouldn’t have been needed to begin with. (Hedaya and his co-founder could not be reached for comment.)
At Hacker News, a sort of virtual startup water cooler, a former web developer named Karl Katzke has further alleged in a series of comments that Unroll.me also secured customer emails poorly and that a company for which Katzke worked declined to acquire Unroll.me due in part to concerns over executives’ honesty. In an email to The Intercept, however, Katzke said that while he stands by those comments, “my information is, at best, third person hearsay based on a rumor that was based on hearsay.”
Still, even just based on the facts Hedaya has openly acknowledged, you shouldn’t trust him or his company and should remove Unroll.me’s unfettered access to your Google account immediately, because that’s just what you gave them when you signed up:
Here’s how to remove Unroll.me (you can also delete your account following the company’s instructions here):
From your Gmail inbox (or any Google page), click the button with your face on it in the top-right corner, then “My Account.”
Under “Sign-in & security,” click “Connected apps & sites,” then “manage apps.”
Find Unroll.me, click it, and then click remove. You might also want to take a very, very close look at any other apps that have been granted the ability to “Read, send, delete, and manage your email.” Do you have a clear assurance that they won’t leverage their access to make money from the likes of Uber? Probably not.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Extra Comment : By
From Paul Coghlan
The time for peaceful protest has passed.
On a side issue 23 years of being in the west end at night watching the scum, has taught me how to hustle a living.
Must I join this scum to feed my family as I can't see myself entering another profession at my age.
Personally I'd rather fight to save what i have worked so hard for and by fight I mean by any means necessary.
From John Gerber
Please tell me why no one appears to be pushing in light of the Daily Mail articles the likes of Cameron, Osborne, Khan, Boris and TFL for a full response to the allegations.
Friday, April 21, 2017
We've Said It Before And We'll Say It Again, Follow The Money...Did You Really Think TfL Wouldn't Relicense Uber.
Uber could pay up to £2.1 million for a five-year licence under proposed changes to minicab fees announced by Transport for London today.
The car hire app, which has around 30,000 drivers in the capital, faces higher fees to reflect the transport body’s increased licensing and enforcement costs.
Up till now TfL enforcement has been woefully inadequate.
A new five-tier structure, which will apply to all minicab firms, will help fund the 250 extra compliance officers being hired to check insurance and other paperwork in a bid to raise industry standards.
TfL, launched a consultation into the fees yesterday, said the charges would make sure operators paid according to the resources required to regulate their operations.
It would mean that the smallest minicab firms, those with fewer than 10 vehicles, pay £2,500 for a five-year licence. Currently those with more than two cars pay £2,826 regardless of the size of their fleet.
Uber and Addison Lee (which has almost 5,000 drivers), would pay £166,000 for a five-year licence, plus £68 for every vehicle registered.
In both cases the number of vehicles is thought to be lower than the number of drivers in operation.
The capital’s minicab industry has grown dramatically from 65,000 licensed drivers in 2013/14 to more than 117,000 today. The number of vehicles has increased from 50,000 to 87,000 over the same period.
TfL estimates that its enforcement costs alone over the next five years will reach £30 million, up from a previous estimate of £4 million.
The total projected cost for licensing, enforcement and compliance — to crack down on illegal and dangerous activity — for taxis and minicabs over five years is £209 million.
Editorial Comment :
Up till now, TfL's enforcement has been no more than a joke. With COs spending most of their time harassing working Taxi drivers forced to over-rank because of the shortage of rank spaces to accomadate 21,000 Taxis.
That's funny Helen, we know something else that's not fit for purpose....