Uber says outside review shows customer data safe, private

AP News
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Posted: Jan 30, 2015 8:32 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber Technologies says that if you catch a ride with one of its drivers, your personal and financial data are safe — from Uber itself.

The ride-booking company on Friday used a blog post to release the results of what it described as a thorough outside examination of its privacy and personal data policies.

While popular with users and investors, the company has faced criticism that its employees inappropriately accessed customer data. That is just one problem that Uber is trying to overcome — another is that it does not properly screen drivers that connect with passengers through its app to ensure they have clean criminal records.

In the blog post, Uber said attorneys from the law firm Hogan Lovells spent six weeks reviewing documentation and interviewing executives and concluded that, "overall our privacy program is strong."

"While Uber is encouraged by these findings, we fully acknowledge that we haven't always gotten it right," according to the blog post.

Last fall, the company said it would investigate whether one of its general managers violated its privacy policies by snooping on a reporter's ride. That news followed a report that an Uber senior vice president threatened to look into the personal lives of journalists that have criticized the company.

The review also cited improvements that Uber could make — and the company said it would adopt the recommendations. They include employee training and greater restrictions on who can access customer data.