Uber squashes hack that unveiled secret passenger ratings

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Late Sunday night, software engineer Aaron Landy penned a Medium post that changed the way regular Uber passengers see themselves. Landy discovered a hack that allowed the car-hailing app’s users to see their ratings—the numerical score drivers assign riders based on their behavior. It was a major, if brief, game-changer.

Landy discovered that if you logged into Uber’s mobile site using Chrome, you could open console, paste some Javascript code, and a pop-up window would display your rating. Uber quickly figured out what was going on and shut down the work-around, but not before a slew of high-profile users used the hack to figure out and tweet their ratings.

A lot of Uber passengers were miffed about their lower-than-expected scores and took to Twitter to decry the ratings. Then, of course, came the jokes.

Uber keeps its passenger scores a secret, which is why the hack was such a big deal. Just as passengers rate their drivers (from zero to five stars), drivers do the same. The difference is that anyone can see a driver’s star rating, but finding out your own score requires some sleuthing. Pro tip: If you’re dying to know your rating, ask your driver. He or she sees the number when you request a ride—and can deny your request if the score is too low—and might be willing to share the rating with you.

Landy’s hack now turns up a score of “undefined” when you try it, and though Uber hasn’t commented on the work-around, the company has said in the past that it plans to let passengers see their ratings at some point. Hopefully that feature arrives sooner rather than later to curb what New York magazine has called “Uber anxiety"—the fear of doing anything that might lower your rating.

This story, "Uber squashes hack that unveiled secret passenger ratings" was originally published by TechHive.

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