Uber wasn’t the only company to suffer PR damage from the recent New York Times article on CEO Travis Kalancik. The piece also revealed that email decluttering service Unroll.me has been mining your messages and selling this data to the ride-hailing firm, leading to one of the worst non-apologies ever released – even by CEO standards.
Unroll.me owner Slice Intelligence collected customers’ emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the information to Uber for an undisclosed fee, according to the Times. Slice has since confirmed it collects receipt data from both Lyft and Uber but didn’t say who it sells it to.
Responding to the anger expressed by Uroll.me users, CEO Jojo Hedaya posted an apology titled ‘We can do better’ to the company blog. He called the reaction to the Times piece “heartbreaking,” but didn’t actually say sorry; instead, he appears to blame customers for not reviewing the ToS agreement closely enough.
Surprisingly, people aren’t reacting well to this sorry not sorry message. Much like HP’s apology for blocking third-party ink cartridges last year, Unroll.me is only apologizing for not being more explicit about their shady practice.
As noted by The Verge, many people who use Unroll.me are now demanding their data be destroyed after they delete their accounts. The company hasn’t said if it will do so.