Sen. Al Franken wants answers from Uber

Now, Uber is doing its privacy mop-up tour.

The company has been in a public relations tailspin all week for comments made by a top executive about snooping on journalists critical of the ride sharing firm. As I wrote Wednesday, Uber also said it was investigating reports that its top executive in New York accessed a reporter’s rider logs.

In response, the company is upping its privacy game.

Uber announced it has hired Harriet Pearson, IBM’s former chief privacy officer. She will be part of a team, which includes lawyers from Hogan Lovells, that will look at Uber’s privacy policies, the company said in a blog post, “and recommend any needed enhancements.” 

Separately, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has jumped into the fray.

In a letter to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Franklin said the recent revelations “suggest a troubling disregard for customers’ privacy” and asked the company to reply by December 15 to 10 questions about its collection and handling of user data.

Alvaro Bedoya, the executive director of Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology, told Politico’s Tony Romm that Uber’s data privacy policy, posted for the first time this week, had some holes:

The privacy policy has lots of contradictions in it…I think the policy is more vague than they make it out to be. It allows them to do a lot of the thing they say it prohibits them from doing.

Prior to this week, there had been signs the company was upping its public relations efforts. It hired David Plouffe, an Obama campaign veteran, to help with its multi-city campaigns to win over regulators. The company has spent just $130,000 so far this year on federal lobbying, as reported by Politico.

With the Franken letter, Uber may need to do more.

Above: Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. Photo by Jeffrey Thompson/Getty Images

 

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  • ALRUI

    Franken is a joke and perfectly illustrates the stupidity of the American voter!

 
 
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