Throughout the ages, philosophers and poets have offered plenty of sensible advice about adultery. Exodus 20:14, for instance, took the Nancy Reagan approach — just say no.
Somewhat less catchy was the recent lesson learned, apparently, by one French businessman: If you are going to take suspicious rides through the French Riviera, do not also use your wife’s buggy Uber account.
The man argued that it was a glitch in Uber’s iPhone app that led to the breakup of his marriage, as the French newspaper Le Figaro reported. It was unclear if an affair had in fact occurred, but the accidental notifications sent to his wife’s phone were enough evidence for the woman to conclude that her husband was cheating.
The entrepreneur had previously used his wife’s iPhone to summon a car. Although he had signed out of the app, his wife’s phone continued to track his Uber rides. The notifications about his trips, including the arrival times, roused her suspicions. The couple divorced.
The man is now suing the San Francisco-based company for damages. Le Figaro reported that the man was seeking 45 million euros ($47.8 million) from Uber. Contacted by the French newspaper, a representative for Uber France declined to comment, saying the company does not provide information regarding individual cases, particularly those involving divorce proceedings.
Although his wife determined that he was cheating, the man and his attorney laid the blame squarely on Uber.
“My client was the victim of a bug in an application,” David-André Darmon, a lawyer for the unnamed entrepreneur, told the AFP on Saturday. “There’s a function to disconnect but the session was not disconnected,” the lawyer said, “and the bug has caused him problems in his private life.” The case, filed in court in Grasse, France, was set for a preliminary hearing in March, according to Le Figaro.
The French newspaper reported that it was able to replicate the bug, but only on iPhones running a version of the Uber application before a Dec. 15 update. Android users did not appear to be affected.
The case is one more bit of evidence that social media can and will be used against you in the event you wind up in a nasty divorce proceeding. A survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2010 found a big increase in the number of cases in which the evidence, mostly from Facebook, figured in divorce disputes.
“Going through a divorce always results in heightened levels of personal scrutiny,” Marlene Eskind Moses, then president of the association, said in a news release. “As everyone continues to share more and more aspects of their lives on social networking sites they leave themselves open to much greater examination of both their public and private lives in these sensitive situations.”
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