Uber’s “Share Your ETA” feature is helpful to let friends or family know you are en route, but deliberately sharing that ETA publicly was causing some problems for Uber users.
Individual Uber trip information was appearing in Google search results after riders had posted the links to their ETA publicly.
An Uber spokesperson said Friday that the problem is now fixed. The company updated the links so that they will expire after 48 hours.
A previous search of the site “trip.uber.com” had returned dozens of trips on the ride-hailing app. Each link pulled up a map of the trip along with the passenger’s name. The driver’s photo, name, licence plate, and car model was also easily identifiable. These all now return error pages.
Uber didn’t fix the issue in which a user’s address is available and accessible to anyone who has the link during that time window.
In the source code of the page, Uber’s trip information contains private data, including exact addresses — though credit card information is not included. While most of the driver’s information is public facing already, the source code also identifies the driver’s rating — although not the passenger’s.
The ride-hailing company added the “Share Your ETA” feature in 2013 to help passengers let an acquaintance stay abreast of their travel progress. When a rider chooses to share it, a text message pops up that lets them send a link.
Still, riders may not be aware how much information they are sharing, even if it’s just in a text with a link.
While the pins show up on a map along with the ETA and driver’s information, there’s no indication that the passenger’s exact address of origin is also included in the source code. Even someone who you text the link to can look in the source code and see the exact address inputted, so only share your ETA with people you trust having that information.
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