Uber hires data privacy expert to review data practices



Uber is very much in news this week, never like before and it wasn’t bad enough and made no secret plans to broadcast the personal lives of journalists who don’t write about the company and it has gone far by digging around the rider logs of one journalist without seeking her permission. After posting on it blog assuring its users that it will never dig their personal data without their permission, it announced that it hired data privacy professional Harriet Pearson and her colleagues.

Harriet Pearson, member of law firm Hogan Lovells will “Conduct an in-depth review and assessment of our existing data privacy program and it will recommend any changes.┬áPearson before joining Hogan Lovells in 2012 worked as IBM’s chief privacy officer and she also co-chairs Georgetown university Cybersecurity Law Institute. Uber said in a blog post that,

[quote]Our business depends on the trust of the million of riders and drivers who are using Uber. The trip history of our riders is very important and we understand that we have to treat it carefully, protecting it from the unauthorized access. [/quote]

Uber’s privacy terms from an incident is detailed by BuzzFeed, where a journalist’s movements has been tracked by manager of Uber’s New York office. The report reveals about a tool called “God View” which lets the Uber track riders and drivers locations. Uber says the case is noe under investigation.

Sen.Al Franken, D-Minn sent a letter to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick demanding more clarity how they handle rider and driver data. Franken said that, “recent reports on Uber suggest the troubling disregard for customer’s privacy including the need to protect the sensitive geolocation data”. For this Uber replied that it will respond to Franken letter in coming weeks.

Bruce Clark, Associate Professor of Marketing at Northeastern University, said that it is unlikely to affect Uber’s business.

[quote]Loyal Uber fans won’t care, if a customer really values a product, it’s terribly tempting to turn blind eye to company’s flaws. Apple’s labor issues in Asia didn’t effect the sales of iPhones as well as Amazon labor issues in US haven’t stopped loyal customer from buying in Amazon.[/quote]