NEWS21 November 2014

Uber hires data privacy experts following spying accusations

News North America Privacy

US — Following pressure from US senate, taxi-hailing app Uber has hired a law firm to look into its privacy policy after accusations of mismanaging customer data.

The company is apparently in the process of investigating one of its general managers for privacy violations after he accessed customer data from a company-wide platform. This news came just after the company’s head of business, Emil Michael, suggested that the company could hire a team of researchers to “dig up dirt on hostile journalists”.

According to technology news website TechCrunch, the company frequently pulls information from its “God View” function – which provides an overview of customers riding its network in real-time, as well as an access to account history – at public events.

Yesterday, Uber announced that it had engaged data privacy expert Harriet Pearson of Hogan Lovells to work with its privacy team. According to the announcement, Hogan Lovells will conduct an in-depth review and assessment of the company’s existing data privacy programme and recommend any needed enhancements.

“Our business depends on the trust of the millions of riders and drivers who use Uber,” the announcement read. “The trip history of our riders is important information and we understand that we must treat it carefully and with respect, protecting it from unauthorised access.”