Chicago, Cook County sues Uber for concealing data breech

Uber revealed last week that 57 million users were affected by the breach
Credit
Reuters

The breach was a further setback to the Silicon Valley company after London's transport regulator stripped it of its operating licence in September, citing Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers. NY fined the company US$20,000 a year ago over a 2014 data breach.

Chicago Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel, who filed the complaint in conjunction with Foxx, said that companies should not be permitted to violate the law by "failing to safeguard personal information and then covering it up, preventing those impacted from taking steps to protect themselves", the station reported.

A joint lawsuit was filed on behalf of IL and the city of Chicago on Monday, seeking to hold the ride sharing company accountable for a 2016 breach that exposed the data of 57 million customers and drivers worldwide.

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.

Uber failed to disclose a massive breach past year, which disclosed the data of some 57 million users, the company's new chief executive officer said last week, according to Reuters. Uber is expected to begin reaching out to those affected shortly to notify them.

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Hackers stole names, email addresses, and phone numbers of Uber's riders and drivers in October 2016. Almost 11,000 drivers in the state were affected. "Consumers expect and deserve protection from disclosure of their personal information".

Similarly, the UK's Minister of State for Digital, Matt Hancock, said, "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 United Kingdom".

The lawsuit seeks civil penalties in the millions of dollars.

A statement of claim filed this week in Calgary by Branch MacMaster LLP said that Uber's handling of the whole affair was "willful, reckless, wanton, negligent, callous and in total disregard for the security and rights of the plaintiff and class members".

It also notes that Uber has run into trouble before for failing to notify users.

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