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Uber Fined in Settlement With NY Over 'God View' Tracking

Uber has been fined $20,000 by the New York Attorney General's office and instructed to shore up security after a series of problems in 2014.

Related: Uber Battles Privacy Concerns Over 'God View' Tool

First there was the controversy over "God View," an administrative tool available to Uber employees that showed every car and its passenger, and was alleged to have been abused. The company also suffered a security breach that exposed data on up to 50,000 drivers — but despite this occurring in May, Uber allegedlydidn't report it to their drivers or the authorities until March of the next year.

Related: Uber Says Data Breach May Have Exposed Info on 50,000 Drivers

That failure to disclose the breach in a timely way is the source of the fine the New York Attorney General's Office slapped on Uber. But instead of another fine for the God View issue, Uber agreed to make a number of changes to its security policies, outlined in the press release detailing the settlement.

Essentially, private data like who is riding in what car, and where to, will now be encrypted and access limited to designated employees. The internal privacy and security program must be improved and regularly reviewed, and the user-facing privacy policy must have a separate section describing location data collection and use. Uber commissioned an independent review of its own policies shortly after the incidents in question, and indicated it would be making changes on its own ahead of any legal decision.

"This settlement protects the personal information of Uber riders from potential abuse by company executives and staff, including the real-time locations of riders in an Uber vehicle," said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in the press release. "I strongly encourage all technology companies to regularly review and amend their own policies and procedures to better protect their customers' and employees' private information."