Uber bulks up privacy team to deal with fallout

Uber is adding top privacy lawyers to do a deep analysis of its policy and ensure that people’s data is safe, it said on Thursday.

A day after Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart Franken#MeWho? The hypocritical silence of Kamala Harris The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate Dems face unity test; Tanden nomination falls Gillibrand: Cuomo allegations 'completely unacceptable' MORE (D-Minn.) openly criticized the company for tracking some users’ rides and proposing a plot to target journalists, the company wants to show Washington and the public that it’s serious about privacy.


“Our business depends on the trust of the millions of riders and drivers who use Uber,” spokeswoman Natalia Montalvo wrote in a blog post. “The trip history of our riders is important information and we understand that we must treat it carefully and with respect, protecting it from unauthorized access.”

To quell concern about its use of people’s privacy, the ride-hailing application has brought on privacy expert Harriet Pearson and the Hogan Lovells law firm to “conduct an in-depth review and assessment” of its privacy program, Uber said.

“We’ve learned a lot in four and a half years and want to continue to improve on the innovative tools that help us deliver on our mission of providing safe, reliable, affordable transportation to anyone, anywhere, at any time,” Montalvo wrote.

The move comes amid increasing concern about Uber’s regard for its customers’ privacy.

This week, a BuzzFeed reporter described how an executive had used a secretive “God View” feature to track her ride. Previous reports had detailed how the company used the tool to monitor people’s rides for the pleasure of attendees at a lavish Chicago launch party.