Uber’s just put a likely considerable amount of money where its mouth is, in regards to its promise to beef up the app’s safety and security. The on-demand ride company just poached Facebook’s Chief Security Officer.
Joe Sullivan will move from Facebook to Uber and hold a similar title. This is the first time that Uber has ever had a Chief Security Officer.
“I’m excited about Uber’s mission of revolutionizing transportation and, like Travis and the leadership team at Uber, firmly believe building world-class safety and security are critical to that mission. I had the good fortune to work at two amazing companies — eBay and Facebook — when they were growing rapidly. I look forward to bringing the best practices that I’ve learned along the way to Uber and doing defining work in bridging the divide between the digital and physical worlds. There’s a great foundation of safety already in place; my goal is to make it even stronger,” says Sullivan.
The move follows recent reports of Uber users’ data going up for sale on the dark web. Uber denied any breach, saying they investigated and found no evidence of one. But according to some, it’s not that hard to buy Uber credentials for as little as $1. Uber also faces questions regarding the security of its passengers, as story after story emerges of drivers assaulting, raping, kidnapping, or attempting to rob passengers. Uber has promised on numerous occasions that its number one priority is making the service safer and more secure, but seem unable to fully deliver on the promise. From a security standpoint, protecting user data is a big part of keeping people safe.
“In searching for a thought leader to help Uber redefine safety and data security, we couldn’t ask for someone better than Joe Sullivan, who’ll be joining us as our Chief Security Officer in late April. Joe is coming to us after 5 years at Facebook in a similar role after nearly 7 years at eBay and PayPal before that. He also spent 8 years with the Department of Justice as a pioneer in prosecuting cybercrime. I couldn’t be more excited to have Joe join our executive team, and look forward to years of working together to make Uber even better,” says Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
He also took this announcement as an opportunity to reiterate Uber’s safety goals, some of which include tech advancement.
“It’s no longer about traditional metrics for safe transportation or keeping our community’s data private and secure, but about how we lead efforts to redefine and strengthen physical and data security in the location-based world. We see opportunities ahead not just in technology, through biometrics and driver monitoring, but in the potential for inspiring collaborations with city and state governments around the world. Our goal is to redefine what it means to be a world-class, people-centric protector of privacy,” he said.
Image via Joe Sullivan, LinkedIn