Uber Has Hired A Law Firm To Review The Company's Privacy Program

On-demand car service Uber announced Thursday that the company is adding law firm Hogan Lovells to Uber’s privacy team.

Data privacy expert Harriet Pearson — and Pearson’s colleagues at Hogan Lovells — will be reviewing and assessing Uber’s data privacy program, according to Uber’s blog post.

Uber has come under fire this week amid privacy concerns.

Uber’s SVP of Business, Emil Michael, suggested at a dinner last week that he could dig up dirt on journalists by hiring a team of opposition researchers. He allegedly made special mention of PandoDaily founder and editor Sarah Lacy, who has been critical of the company before.

On Wednesday, BuzzFeed reported that Uber’s New York general manager, Josh Mohrer, was being investigated for allegedly breaching Uber’s privacy policy by using the company’s “God View” tool to track BuzzFeed reporter Johana Bhuiyan’s location without her permission.

Mohrer also emailed Bhuiyan logs of her Uber rides to answer questions she had about Lyft, an Uber competitor. Mohrer also did not ask for Bhuiyan’s permission before accessing that information.

Sen. Al Franken, chairman of the subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, also voiced his concern for user privacy in a letter to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

Below is Uber’s announcement about adding Hogan Lovells to its privacy team:

Our business depends on the trust of the millions of riders and drivers who use Uber. 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.

Ensuring that we have strong policies and practices in this fast-paced world of technology must be a constant quest. We have added Harriet Pearson, one of the most respected data privacy experts in the world and her colleagues at Hogan Lovells, to Uber’s privacy team. Hogan Lovells will conduct an in-depth review and assessment of our existing data privacy program and recommend any needed enhancements so that Uber can ensure that we are a leader in the area of privacy and data protection.

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.

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