Washington state AG sues Uber over data breach

Lucy Bush
November 30, 2017

Europe's data protection authorities can streamline their investigations into companies, something that is exceptional, but that has happened in big cases including the Yahoo data breach earlier this year.

Uber eventually disclosed the breach to the Washington Attorney General a year later-on November 21, 2017.

Uber Technologies is being sued by the city of Chicago and Cook County on claims the ride-hailing company's 2016 data breach harmed "tens, if not hundreds, of thousands" of area residents.

The stolen information includes names, email addresses and phone numbers and - for United States drivers - licence numbers.

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Several states, including Missouri, Massachusetts and NY, have opened investigations, and the city of Chicago sued Uber on Tuesday for failing to notify affected residents.

"Washington law is clear: When a data breach puts people at risk, businesses must inform them", Ferguson said in the release.

In Britain, Uber drew around 2.85 million users, on average, over the past three months, according to web and mobile app traffic measurement firm SimilarWeb, indicating that most British Uber users were likely caught up in the breach. Almost 11,000 drivers in the state were affected.

Washington is the latest state to take Uber to court over its hidden data breach.

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Although several class actions have already been filed against Uber-as well as at least one suit filed by a municipality-the Washington enforcement action marks a new type of liability Uber will face in connection with the 2016 breach.

"Uber's conduct has been truly stunning".

Ferguson said that based on Uber's characterisation of the information hackers stole about Washington passengers, he does not believe Uber had a legal obligation to notify them. "Personal information" is defined as an individual's first and last name in combination with their social security number, driver's license number, or financial account information.

Digital minister Matt Hancock said in a written statement: "The government expects Uber to respond fully to the incident with the urgency it demands and to provide the appropriate support to its customers and drivers in the UK".

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"We are committed to changing the way we do business, putting integrity at the core of every decision we make, and working hard to re-gain the trust of consumers, " the statement said.

Other reports by Info About Network

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