Customer privacy involves the day to day handling and protection of client’s information by organizations. One’s customers give out their personal information, they do expect it to be protected and not to be disclosed to a third party (Johnson, 2017). In recent times a few companies have been involved in the ethical challenge of failing to protect data and information regarding their clients. It is also worth noting that several measures can be put in place to avoid the bleaching of customer’s private information. Uber is one of the fast-growing organizations around the world in terms of technology and was recently involved in a hacking where information about their customers was leaked.
Uber Hacking Menace
In 2016 the company was involved in a cybersecurity issue whereby personal information of 57 million customers and drivers was bleached. The management of the company, however, decided to conceal this information and never disclosed it to the affected people or the world out there. It was until recently after the then CEO Travis Kalanick ended his tenure and was succeeded by the current head Dara Khosrowshahi Khosrowshahi decided to put it point blank that the hacking took place and some information was leaked. He also confessed that the hackers who had been involved in the fraudulent process were paid a total of $100,000 to delete the information the bleached and never to disclose their actions to the public (Wong, 2017). This was not ethical at all, and after the disclosure by the current CEO, the hacking revived different issues concerning how the company runs its activities. Many of the customers whose personal information was bleached considered quitting the company and some different revolutionary movements started doing rounds to protest against the Uber Company.
How the Uber Company responded
After the company’s management realized that there was data bleaching some immediate and effective measures had to be put up to make sure that this did not happen again. The company’s first response was that of setting up a team of experts to identify what caused the bleach. However one of the response strategies that they got wrong was that of deciding to keep the information within the company’s boundaries. Instead of this, the Uber Company would have disclosed the information to the customers who were the victims and then give them a detailed explanation of how they intended to handle the situation (Wong, 2017). This would have shown some openness and accountability from the company, and the customers would have maintained their loyalty as a result. In terms of responding to the ethical challenge, the company was able to identify the hackers in time before the information was manipulated. The hackers were paid by the company to delete the information they had obtained from their systems and also to keep the whole scenario out of public reach.
Options that were available for the Uber Company
Several options could have been applied as a response to the customer privacy breach that occurred with the Uber Company. One of the ways this would have been prevented was by the installation of codes and passwords to the servers that contained the customer’s information. The company’s CEO admitted that they had not protected the information properly and this was what led to the success of the hacking operation. A second available option that would have prevented the data breach was that of the setting up of the surveillance camera in the rooms where the servers were stored. The hackers were able to access the security rooms, copied the information of Uber customers and left without being noticed. If someone was controlling and watching through the surveillance camera, the hackers would have been noticed and gotten rid of before they accessed information.
To prevent future breaches, there are several measures that the Uber Company needs to put in place to avoid the company going to a downfall. One of the recommendations they can employ is the restriction of people who have access to sensitive information about the company. With this information, trending will be limited, and the chances of bleach information will be minimal. Another technology way to curb this vice is where the company should install high end encrypted passwords to stop hackers from accessing the database (Martin, Borah, & Palmatier, 2017). An example of this was that the current CEO of Uber confessed that they bleached information had not been encrypted and this is the main reason that made the hackers to access the company’s database easily. With the database being encrypted the customer’s information would be safe, and hackers are barred completely. Another recommendation would be that of the provision of a complaint forum or the customers. In this forum, the customers should report any suspicious activities with their account and in the process help in the detection of fraud.
Uber is one of many companies that have been faced with the ethical challenge associated with customer privacy over that last few years. The world is experiencing a significant transformation whereby technology is taking over in almost every industry. However, hackers are trying to manipulate many of the companies systems, and the issues of customer privacy and online fraud are on the rise. Uber and other companies that have suffered from this vice should come up with different security measure to prevent further losses. If this issue is not looked into from a broader perspective, many companies face the risk of facing a downfall from the competitive market.
Johnson, C. E. (2017). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow. Sage Publications.
Martin, K. D., Borah, A., & Palmatier, R. W. (2017). Data privacy: Effects on customer and firm performance. Journal of Marketing, 81(1), 36-58.
Wong J. C. (2017). Uber concealed massive hack that exposed data of 57m users and drivers. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/21/uber-data-hack- cyber-attack