Uber apologized after Senior Vice President Emil Michael made comments about purportedly creating a smear campaign against journalists who criticize the ride-sharing company. But that doesn’t mean Sen. Al Franken is willing to forgive and forget, CNN reported Wednesday. The Minnesota Democrat penned a letter in which he urged Uber to explain its privacy policies.
In the letter, Franken listed 10 questions he wanted answered by Dec. 15, after he heard reports about a “God view” tool that supposedly lets Uber track customers and possibly journalists who wrote about the company. The company has not immediately responded to the letter, where Franken said recent statements by Uber executives were "troubling.” He added that there was a “disregard for customers' privacy, including the need to protect their sensitive geolocation data.”
Franken, who is chairman of the Subcommittee On Privacy, Technology, and the Law, added that the company has permitted employees to use customers’ data for "questionable purposes” on different occasions. The full letter can be read below.
Michael had publicly said he could spend a “million dollars” to investigate journalists, especially Sarah Lacy of PandoDaily. But, Uber reportedly said it has not conducted any “investigations,” nor does it intend to in the future. "We have not, do not, and will not investigate journalists,” a spokesperson for the company said. “Those remarks have no basis in the reality of our approach.”
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote a 13-tweet mea culpa on Twitter Tuesday. He said Michael’s comments were “terrible” and “showed a lack of leadership, a lack of humanity, and a departure” from the company’s “values and ideas.” He also offered a specific apology to Lacy.
While Kalanick might have slammed Michael on Twitter, Franken, in addition to the series of questions he proposed, has demanded to know what “disciplinary action” has been taken against Michael.
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