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Uber Agrees To Fine Of $148 Million Over 2016 Data Breach That It Had Kept Secret

Uber Agrees To Fine Of $148 Million Over 2016 Data Breach That It Had Kept Secret
An amount of $148 million would be paid by ride hailing company Uber to authorities in the United States to settle a case of a massive data breach on its servers in 2016 which the company had kept secret for over a year, announced the company and government authorities.
The case date back to 20916 when a data breach in the comopany affected about 57 million Uber riders and drivers as conceded by the California based company. After the incident was revealed last year, Uber was slapped with a number of court cases which included authorities from 50 US states and the District of Columbia.
“New Yorkers deserve to know that their personal information will be protected -- period,” New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement.
“This record settlement should send a clear message: we have zero tolerance for those who skirt the law and leave consumer and employee information vulnerable to exploitation.”
The incident of the data breach was discovered by Uber in November of 2016 in which personal information of riders and drivers from almost half in the United States was compromised.
Sources had said that an amount of $100,000 was paid ot the perpetrators by Uber to destroy all the stolen information and the company did not disclose the incident to the authorities for more than a year.
According to the company statement, the agreement was aimed to prop up Uber’s efforts to match the standards of transparency and accountability that people expect from it and a means to rebuild its tarnished image following a number of scandals.
“The commitments we’re making in this agreement are in line with our focus on both physical and digital safety for our customers,” Uber’s chief legal officer Tony West said.
“We know that earning the trust of our customers and the regulators we work with globally is no easy feat ... We’ll continue to invest in protections to keep our customers and their data safe and secure, and we’re committed to maintaining a constructive and collaborative relationship with governments around the world.”
Each of the affected drivers in the state of Illinois would be paid $100 each from the fund of $5.1 million that would be overseen by the state’s Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
“While Uber is now taking the appropriate steps to protect the data of its drivers in Illinois and across the country, the company’s initial response was unacceptable,” Madigan said. “Companies cannot hide when they break the law.”
An assessment by an independent agency for the data security systems at Uber would also have to be done by the company according to directions from authorities.
The incident of the data breach was disclosed by Uber in November last year soon after a change of guard at its top position with Dara Khosrowshahi being appointed the chief executive.
The agreement for the settlement of the breach cases was made between Uber and the US Federal Trade Commission.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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