Uber hires its first chief security officer

Uber has hired its first chief security officer, the ridesharing service announced. Says the company, it has been on the prowl for someone to helm its safety and cybersecurity elements, and that someone is Joe Sullivan, who has previously worked at Facebook, eBay, and PayPal, as well as the Department of Justice. Sullivan will be taking up his role at Uber sometime later this month, helping the service to "redefine safety and data security". This announcement comes at a time when many governing authorities and individuals alike have questioned Uber's practices and called into question the issue of driver/rider data security.

The announcement was made by Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick today. In his own statement, Sullivan has expressed excitement about his new role with the ridesharing service, and has said that forming "world-class safety and security" is an important part of "revolutionizing transportation". All are careful to mention that Uber's security wasn't lacking in the first place, only that the hiring of a chief security officer will "make it even stronger".

Last year was rough for Uber, which was hit with criticism from many angles (some of it rightly deserved). Senator Al Franken was counted among those concerned about Uber's privacy practices; he questioned the ridesharing service about many aspects of its privacy practices and some other potential issues. Uber responded to them in detail, sometimes with a hint of defensiveness, but it has proceeded in pushing forward with a growing focus on security.

The result of the company's internal privacy audit was largely favorable. Still, there have been concerns about the service — in February, for example, it was revealed that Uber had been hacked and some driver data was compromised. Likewise, recently it has come to light that Uber accounts are being sold on the black market.

SOURCE: Uber Blog