The mess began when an Uber executive suggested that the company uses information gathered from its service to find dirt on journalists critical of the service. An element of the program dubbed the “God view” allows an employee to track the precise geolocation of passengers in Uber vehicles.
“To whom is the so-called ‘God view’ tool made available and why?” Sen. Franken asked in the letter. “What steps are you taking to limit access?”
Sen. Franken expressed “serious concerns” about “the scope, transparency, and enforceability of Uber’s policies,” since Uber has not submitted evidence that its practices match or support what the spokesperson stated.
The legislator wondered whether the executive faced disciplinary action, whether and under what circumstances an employee would face discipline for a violation of the privacy policies, and whether any employees had been disciplined on such a basis.
Sen. Franken also noted that the language of the policies suggests that Uber maintains personal information and geolocation data indefinitely, even after an account is terminated. “Why? What limits are you considering imposing?” the letter asked.
Uber must respond to the lawmaker by December 15.
To read Sen. Franken’s letter to Uber, click here.