Uber hires data experts after US senator Franken slated its 'troubling disregard for customers’ privacy'

Taxi-hailing app Uber has hired a law firm to look into its privacy policy after the app came under fire for a series of alleged snooping misdemeanours.

Uber has been under pressure this week to adapt its practises

Uber has brought on board Harriet Pearson, a data privacy expert, from law firm Hogan Lovells to address concerns the firm is exploiting gaps in its privacy policy to spy on customers.

This comes after Uber executive Emil Michael apologised for suggesting he could spend “a million dollars” to hire investigators to combat critics of the company by digging up dirt on “[their] personal lives and [their] families”.

A statement on the Uber blog said: “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.”

The appointment occurred after US senator Al Franken suggested Uber has a “troubling disregard for customers’ privacy” in a letter addressed to the firm’s chief executive Travis Kalanick.

He also said he was “troubled” by the news an Uber employee used a tool known as “God view”, “widely available to most Uber to employees” to track the location of users’ of the app, which Franken noted in one instance was a journalist.

Travis Kalanick on Tuesday apologised on behalf of his staff, issuing a promise to tighten up the firm's privacy policy.

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