Now the FTC wants a word with Uber

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Enlarge / An Uber car waiting for a rider in Manhattan.

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

It isn’t clear exactly what has the FTC investigators interested in Uber, which was reported earlier today by Recode. The site speculates 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.

the company agreed to pay $22.5 million, a record fine. 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 unclear what stage the Uber investigation is at, and it could well go away without any charges being filed. FTC investigations are typically 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. Its CEO Travis Kalanick just announced he would take some time off to grieve his mother, who passed away last month, and work on personal growth.

stepped down yesterday.

The company is also in the middle of a heated high-stakes litigation against Google, which sued Uber in February for allegedly stealing trade secrets.

Neither Uber nor the FTC commented on the reported probe.


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