Uber faces FTC probe into privacy practices: report

Uber faces FTC probe into privacy practices: report

Uber is reportedly facing a new probe from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its privacy practices.

The agency has launched an inquiry into Uber, sources tell Recode, focused on the company's handling of customer data.

The company has faced a number of questions and controversies about its use of customer data, including "God view," a tool that allowed Uber to reveal the locations of prominent users such as politicians and celebrities.

Some sources cautioned that the probe might not lead to further action. They said the FTC regularly questions companies over user privacy practices and in many cases closes the investigations without imposing fines or other penalties.

But the possibility of another full-blown probe would add to what has been a difficult stretch for Uber.

The company has been reeling in recent months from a number of controversies and missteps, including allegations of widespread sexual harassment.

A number of top executives have left in recent months, and on Tuesday, CEO Travis Kalanick said that he would take a leave of absence.

It's also not the first time Uber has been under the scrutiny of the FTC. The company was hit with a $20 million fine from the FTC in January for misleading its drivers over potential earnings.

Both Uber and the FTC declined to comment over the current investigation. 

“FTC investigations are non-public, and we do not comment on investigations or on the existence of an investigation,” an FTC spokesperson wrote in an email to The Hill. 

Uber is facing another federal probe. The Department of Justice is investigating the company's use of “Greyball,” a technology Uber developed to mislead government regulators who attempted to investigate the company by hailing cars.

In a separate case, a judge asked federal prosecutors in May to open an investigation into whether Uber stole trade secrets from Alphabet’s self-driving car subsidiary, Waymo.