Uber fills 'critical' role of chief privacy officer

Uber just hired its first chief privacy officer, filling a significant void in the senior leadership at the most valu...

Posted: Jul 19, 2018 12:38 AM
Updated: Jul 19, 2018 12:38 AM

Uber just hired its first chief privacy officer, filling a significant void in the senior leadership at the most valuable privately held startup in the US.

Naming Ruby Zefo to the role "fills a critical global role responsible for the development and implementation of privacy standards, procedures, and processes in every market where we operate," Tony West, Uber's chief legal officer, told employees in an email Wednesday.

In a parallel move, West also announced that Simon Hania will be Uber's first data protection officer, filling a position required under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. Hania will oversee Uber's compliance with EU data protection laws. Simon comes to Uber from Dutch transportation company TomTom, where he was as VP of privacy and security, and will work in Amsterdam.

The two additions come as CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who has been at the helm for less than one year, continues cleaning up Uber's past missteps. Beyond being embroiled in allegations of sexual discrimination and harassment, the company has faced scrutiny over how it handles consumer data.

Related: Uber is under federal investigation for gender discrimination

In April, Uber settled a case with the Federal Trade Commission, which investigated claims that the ride-share company deceived customers about a 2016 breach in which hackers stole the personal information of 57 million users.

The breach wasn't disclosed until late 2017, when Uber revealed that it paid the hackers $100,000 to destroy the data. As part of the settlement, Uber agreed to notify the FTC in the event of a data breach. Khosrowshahi, who joined Uber in late August, said he launched an investigation into why the company didn't alert authorities or consumers.

The company settled a 2014 data breach case with the FTC, as well.

Zefo, who also serves on the board for the International Association of Privacy Professionals, will start at Uber on August 6. Privacy experts applauded the hire.

"It's surprising to me that this company, which has had such high profile privacy failures and is sitting on such a large body of personal data had yet to hire a CPO or face significant public pressure to do so," said Woodrow Hartzog, a law and computer science professor at Northeastern University.

But Albert Gidari, consulting director of privacy at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, said it's not unusual to see a tech company without a CPO.

"While there have been some very public mistakes, like many tech companies, [Uber] seems to have learned, albeit the hard way, to invest in a serious privacy and security infrastructure," Gidari said. "It is important for the CPO to be in the "C" suite, and Uber has made a serious hire with Ruby Zefo and Simon Hania."

While Uber has had privacy professionals at the company throughout the years, it started working toward hiring a chief privacy officer even before Khosrowshahi came aboard, an Uber spokesperson told CNNMoney.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93087

Reported Deaths: 2809
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6956155
DeSoto539355
Harrison372772
Jackson337867
Madison320086
Rankin318875
Lee258567
Jones239978
Forrest238270
Washington217471
Lafayette207239
Lauderdale1994124
Bolivar179065
Oktibbeha174750
Lamar162134
Neshoba1534103
Panola144027
Sunflower141144
Lowndes139857
Warren138050
Leflore136280
Pontotoc122516
Pike120948
Monroe118365
Scott116125
Copiah115933
Coahoma112327
Holmes109158
Marshall107515
Lincoln106253
Grenada105335
Yazoo103629
Simpson101243
Union97824
Tate95137
Leake93937
Adams91736
Wayne87421
Pearl River86250
Marion84133
Prentiss80817
Covington80622
Alcorn76811
Newton75623
Itawamba75221
Tallahatchie74918
George74413
Winston72319
Tishomingo65737
Chickasaw65224
Tippah64216
Attala64125
Walthall59325
Clay57117
Hancock56121
Jasper54915
Noxubee54315
Clarke53539
Smith52114
Calhoun50612
Tunica47913
Montgomery45420
Claiborne45116
Lawrence42512
Yalobusha41614
Perry40617
Humphreys37315
Quitman3735
Stone35011
Greene34317
Webster33113
Jefferson Davis32511
Amite31210
Carroll31212
Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2399
Benton2181
Franklin1893
Choctaw1785
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18911337
Mobile13039289
Montgomery8628173
Madison750775
Tuscaloosa7180114
Lee570559
Shelby564550
Baldwin504749
Marshall382143
Etowah333447
Calhoun332039
Morgan318126
Houston269922
Elmore251947
DeKalb234619
St. Clair221335
Walker220780
Talladega205026
Limestone197319
Cullman183017
Franklin174128
Dallas173626
Russell17112
Autauga167324
Lauderdale164133
Colbert159326
Escambia155725
Blount154214
Jackson149411
Chilton147127
Dale132743
Covington130227
Coffee12708
Pike11519
Tallapoosa113183
Chambers112342
Clarke104917
Marion93728
Butler90838
Barbour8307
Marengo69919
Winston69912
Lowndes64527
Pickens63114
Bibb62810
Hale61228
Randolph60712
Bullock58514
Lawrence58220
Monroe5758
Geneva5634
Cherokee55516
Washington54413
Perry5376
Clay5367
Wilcox53011
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52231
Macon47620
Henry4674
Fayette4189
Sumter41819
Lamar3452
Choctaw34412
Cleburne3206
Greene30015
Coosa1613
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 65°
Columbus
Few Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 65°
Oxford
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
Starkville
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 63°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather