US: Uber under FTC investigation

Adding to the embattled ride-hailing company’s troubles, Uber is now reportedly under investigation for privacy violations by the Federal Trade Commission.

Currently it’s purely speculation exactly what has the FTC investigators interested in Uber, which was reported Thursday by Recode. The site speculated that it could be the employees’ use of “god view,” a tool that was used by some Uber employees to track the locations of some politicians and celebrities.

That would be in keeping with a trend at the FTC, which has been paying more attention to the privacy practices of tech companies in recent years. Google reached an agreement with the FTC in 2012 related to undisclosed tracking in Safari, in which the company agreed to pay $22.5 million. In 2011, Facebook agreed to 20 years of privacy audits after the FTC alleged the company hadn’t followed its own privacy policies.

It’s unknown what stage the Uber investigation is at, and it could well go away without any charges being filed. FTC investigations are usually kept under wraps, but Recode says it has spoken to four different sources “familiar with the matter.”

Even if there are no charges, an FTC inquiry is an expensive, time-consuming headache for any company, and Uber is already dealing with a lot of problems.

Full Content: ARS Technica

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