Uber drivers—Conveniently driving off with your personal information


Photo courtesy of Uber

Allessandra Lopez

Uber is a transportation company that was discovered in 2009. Similar to that of a taxi service, its main purpose is to help individuals get from point A to point B safely. Although it may be convenient to many people, Uber is not safe. Students shouldn’t use Uber because personal information can be leaked and drivers are not given proper background checks.

For some of us, transportation isn’t always the easiest of things to figure out. Some students don’t have a car and have to resort to other measures. CSUN is a commuter school, some students walk, ride the bus, drive, take the train and even ride their bikes to campus. For students who have to ride the bus or take a train, the hours can be long and inconvenient. We don’t always have the patience or the time to rely on these methods of transportation.

Students who use Uber may say that they love it because they have the power to choose where and at what time they will be picked up. It is a faster way to travel than to have numerous stops on the way home.

I will admit that there are benefits of using Uber. The company heeds at every beck and call, no matter what the time is. It is a system that will get you to where you need to be at low costs. However, every company has its downfalls.

In order to use Uber, passengers have to provide their personal information. Passengers make payments through credit cards, and contact information is shared with other rideshare services. This means that an individual’s information stays in the system for others to see. I don’t know about other people, but I am not comfortable with others having access to my information. What if a passenger irritates a driver? If that driver takes the passenger home, they will know where the passenger lives. I feel this is a violation of privacy. Passengers need to be more aware of where they are getting picked up from and dropped off.

Students should also be careful of Uber drivers because they aren’t given the proper background checks. The Uber company tracks the record of drivers within the last seven years. Within those last few years, drivers could have a clean slate with no recorded issues. However, just because there is no trouble recorded in the last seven years, doesn’t mean drivers won’t commit a crime. In fact, in the last year, there have been five sexual assaults, three physical assaults, one kidnapping and one vehicular manslaughter that involved Uber users. Uber checks the background of its drivers like it says it does, then these crimes would have occurred less often.

All passengers who use Uber, whether or not they are students, should be more cautious of who they decide to get rides from. Rather than choosing a service with a person you don’t know, carpool with a friend. Call your parents if you have to. Everyone should drive with someone who they feel comfortable with. If an individual has to fear for their safety, the ride is not worth it.