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Uber reaches agreement with FTC over mishandling of private information

Uber has been under a lot of scrutiny for many different reasons. Today, we learned that Uber has reached a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission in regards to complaints of data-handling problems. The company has agreed to implement a “comprehensive privacy program” as part of its settlement with the FTC.

According to FTC’s order reads, Uber’s implemented program must “address privacy risks related to new and existing products and services for consumers,” as well as “protect the privacy and confidentiality of personal information.”

When FTC brought Uber under its eyes, it alleged that Uber failed to carefully monitor employees who had access to driver and consumer data. The company deployed “reasonable measures” to keep personal information safe that is stored on third-party servers.

Under this new settlement, Uber is forbidden from “misrepresenting how it monitors internal access to consumer’s personal information.” Remember the “god view” tool that Uber previously got caught using? This seems to be a reference to that tool. The “god view” allowed some employees to spy on whereabouts of people that used the Uber app.

FTC acting chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen in a statement said that “Uber failed consumers in two key ways: First by misrepresenting the extent to which it monitored its employees’ access to personal information about users and drivers, and second by misrepresenting that it took reasonable steps to secure that data.” Additionally, “this case shows that, even if you’re a fast growing company, you can’t leave consumers behind: you must honor your privacy and security promises.”

In addition, Uber will be subject to third-party audits to take a look at its privacy and data security measures. This must happen within 180 days “and every two years after that for the next 20 years.”

Uber has been under a lot of pressure lately concerning a lot of issues. At least we are starting to see some progress where the company is making an effort to resolve the problems.

Hamza Khalid

Hamza Khalid is the Lead Editor at The Jolt Journal. You're more than welcome to follow him on Twitter and follow The Jolt Journal on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, concerns, or need to report something in this article, please send our team an email at [email protected] This story may be updated at any time if new information surfaces.

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