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Facebook Security Chief Rides to Uber

With an eye on preventing data breaches, Uber looked to Facebook.

The transportation company announced last week that it has hired Joe Sullivan — Facebook’s chief security officer for the last five years — as its own CSO. Sullivan worked for eBay as well as PayPal prior to joining Facebook; before that, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick notes in a blog post, he spent eight years as a prosecutor for the Department of Justice.

Writes Sullivan in the same post, “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.”

Sullivan’s hiring comes in the wake of Uber having gone public with the fact that, in May of 2014, the company’s database suffered a breach in which an unauthorized third party gained access to the names and driver’s license numbers of some 50,000 Uber drivers. Along with Uber’s Managing Counsel of Data Privacy Katherine Tassi and its Head of Global Safety Phil Cardenas, Sullivan will work to prevent such cyberattacks from occurring in the future.

Sullivan, who will begin his role as Uber’s CSO at the end of this month, added that leaving Facebook was “not an easy decision,” but he said he is looking forward to the challenges of his new position.

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