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Franken Praises Uber Data Collection Move

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is praising Uber for agreeing to stop collecting user info after their trip is over.

Franken last December had asked ride-hailing giant Uber to upgrade its privacy policy to make sure that sensitive location data is sufficiently protected.

"[W]hen I learned that Uber was collecting users’ location data even after a ride has ended – and had eliminated users’ choice in that collection – I wrote to the company urging it to do what it can to restore users’ control over their sensitive location information," Franken said on the news. "I’m glad to see that Uber has heeded my call and reinstated a customer’s ability to limit the collection of location data to only when the app is actually in use and that the company has chosen to end post-trip tracking. I’m hopeful that this announcement is the first step in Uber’s renewed commitment to the privacy and security of its users.”

Uber just two weeks ago agreed to adopt a comprehensive privacy and data security program, with periodic audits, to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint, the FTC said Aug. 15.

The FTC had alleged that the company "failed to live up to its claims that it closely monitored employee access to consumer and driver data and that it deployed reasonable measures to secure personal information it stored on a third-party cloud provider’s servers."

Franken, ranking member on the Judiciary Committee's privacy subcommittee, has made protecting online user information, particularly location information, a key policy goal, including pushing Uber and competitor Lyft to protect location privacy and introducing legislation giving consumers more control.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.