An Update on Privacy at Uber

We care deeply about the privacy of our riders and drivers.  It’s why we’re always looking at ways to improve our practices.  In the last few months we have doubled the size of our privacy team, overhauled our data protection training for employees, published an external review of our privacy program and hired Joe Sullivan, a former cybercrime prosecutor, as our Chief Security Officer.

As part of the external review, privacy expert Harriet Pearson and her colleagues at Hogan Lovells recommended simplifying our existing policies to make them easier to understand.  So today we’re publishing new Privacy Statements for both riders and drivers.  These are half as long as before, with much less legal jargon.  And they are available in 23 languages:  the vast majority of the languages spoken in the 57 countries where Uber operates.

These new statements explain more clearly and concisely what data Uber asks for, and how that data is used to provide or improve our services.  For example, location data is essential to connect drivers to riders, while features like “Split Fare” only work if Uber has access to a rider’s contact details.  We have also included links to our new Android and iOS permissions pages that explain the app permissions we request.

In the interest of transparency we also want to highlight some changes to our policies, which cover new services, such as UberEATS, as well as potential new use cases.  For example, these changes would allow Uber to ask for access to a rider’s location when the app is running in the background and get people on their way more quickly.  In addition, these changes would allow Uber to launch new promotional features that use contacts — for example the ability to send special offers to riders’ friends or family.  In either case, users will be in control:  they will be able to choose whether to share the data with Uber.

Our riders and driver partners will start receiving e-mails in the next few days about the new Privacy Statements, which will take effect on July 15.  Privacy and security go to the heart of trust in Uber, and we encourage you to direct any questions to us via privacy@uber.com.  For help with a trip or account issue, you can visit help.uber.com to submit a request or browse FAQs.

Katherine Tassi is Managing Counsel of Data Privacy at Uber Technologies.  Prior to joining Uber, Tassi spent 4 years at Facebook as the Head of Data Protection and the Associate General Counsel in charge of the global data protection program.  She spent 8 years serving in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office as an Assistant Attorney General prosecuting consumer protection violations and working on high-tech litigation.
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