Uber has an account security issue and it seems they want to ignore it

14 Responses

  1. Daniel says:

    Great write up. Unfortunately this is not surprising, and seen all to often. I for one have others register accounts using my email address on a regular basis. The users that use my accounts simply validate their accounts via other means, such as their mobile number, or no validation is required at all.

    I’m conflicted on who owns responsibility in these instances.

    On one hand, if Person A uses the email account of Person B (yourself) to avoid using their own email account, they invite ownership re-homing. I feel a reasonable amount of ownership when my email address is used, and i promptly reset ‘my’ password. Person A should find the magic of a dummy email address. Indeed it’s not that hard. If Person A doesn’t, if they use the account of Person B, account ownership, personally, becomes quite grey.

    I always use my identity, my details, when i register to use services, just as i would a gym membership. Why do we find it acceptable to be dishonest online? We shouldn’t, it’s unacceptable. But it happens… I feel no pity for these people though, and I hold the company with very little responsibility in most instances. It’s akin to logging into a banking account at an internet kiosk, and leaving the console unlocked whilst going to the bathroom.

    Customers have responsibility for their actions.

    On the other hand, these systems can hold data that could put Person A at risk; such as financial, reputation, or safety loss. In these instances I do firmly believe that greater ownership should be held by the provider. In Uber’s example, Person A’s safety is at risk, as is their financial position. You know where they live, and a temporary Visa card could readily harvest their earnings. If more publicly known, this could be exploited more often than it is today.

    It’s simple, password recovery should ALWAYS require validation via the same means as the original registration, and registration verification shouldn’t be a discussion point within application design. Security questions, whilst having their weaknesses, also provide an alternate ‘shared secret’ that can be used for the same process. In any instance, it shouldn’t be a ‘click once’ process to take account ownership as you have in this instance.

    In this instance, I call mutual responsibility. Uber need to up the ante on their controls, and their customer service.

    Dan.

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