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Uber Breach Ends in $148M Settlement, California AG Says

The state will get $26 million from the settlement surrounding the breach that exposed the data of more than 600,000 drivers and passengers.

by Ashley McBride, San Francisco Chronicle / September 27, 2018

(TNS) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced a $148 million nationwide settlement Wednesday resulting from a data breach at Uber.

The 2016 breach affected people in several states and exposed personal information, including names and driver’s license numbers for drivers, as well as customers’ names, email addresses and phone numbers. In California, 174,000 drivers — more than a quarter of the 600,000 affected nationwide — saw their data taken.

California will get $26 million, or 18 percent, of the settlement money. That sum will be divided between the offices of the attorney general and the district attorney.

The $148 million settlement dwarfs similar data breach cases in recent history. In May 2017, the attorney general’s office announced an $18.5 million national settlement with Target after hackers stole 40 million customers’ credit card information, and Lenovo in Semptember 2017 agreed to pay a $3.5 million multistate settlement for installing software on its computers that compromised users’ security.

Uber agreed to report data breaches to state officials four times a year and adhere to state laws about gathering personal information.

In 2017, Uber acknowledged that the 2016 hack had affected 57 million Uber customers and drivers around the world. The revelation, coming a year after the incident, violated California law, which requires that companies notify state authorities and individuals when customer data is stolen.

“This settlement does not resolve any liability to consumers themselves directly if they suffered damages,” Becerra said at a news conference. “If they were hacked and had their information used in ways that undermine their credit, there are actions that individuals can take, but that was not part of our settlement.”

Gascón said resources from the settlement would help the state and county pursue other violations.

The breach happened under the watch of Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, who was forced out of the company last year and replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi, the former CEO of Expedia, a fact Gascón noted.

“I believe that Uber is moving in a new direction and under the new leadership will take a very different approach,” he said.

©2018 the San Francisco Chronicle Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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