Over 20 Million U.S. Users Affected By Uber Breach
Uber Technologies Inc. has recently revealed that a data breach targeting its systems affected more people than previously believed. The data breach exposed the names, phone numbers and email addresses of more than 20 million Uber users in the U.S. Officials said the stolen information included 25.6 million names and email addresses, 22.1 million names and mobile phone numbers, and 607,000 names and driver’s license numbers.
Bloomberg News reported the breach in November when Uber disclosed the incident. The hackers stole the information from a data-storage service run by Amazon.com Inc. The company reportedly paid the attackers $100,000 to delete the data and keep the breach quiet
The Federal Trade Commission chastised Uber for failing to disclose the leak last year as the agency investigated the company for a similar data breach that happened two years earlier. Uber waited more than a year after discovering it. Uber could be subject to civil penalties if it fails to notify the FTC of future incidents.
Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting FTC chairman, said a new agreement has been put into place that is “designed to ensure that Uber does not engage in similar misconduct in the future.” Uber Chief Legal Officer Tony West said, “I am pleased that just a few months after announcing this incident, we have reached a speedy resolution with the FTC that holds Uber accountable for the mistakes of the past by imposing new requirements that reasonably fit the facts.”
Uber has announced a number of upgrades this week. The company said that the new features are aimed at keeping its ride-hailing customers safe. The changes are expected to be in place this summer.
The company is adding an emergency 911 feature that connects passengers directly with emergency personnel. Uber unveiled a similar feature in India after loud criticism over sexual assault allegations against a driver there. At the time, Uber said it had no plans to bring it to the United States. The company also plans to allow riders to share their trip information with up to five “trusted contacts” for every trip.
The company is also now mandating annual reviews of background checks to ensure drivers remain in compliance with its standards. In a blog post, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, “Going forward, we’ll proactively rerun criminal and motor vehicle checks each year, regardless of whether there is a legal obligation to do so.” Uber said it is also investing in a system to flag the company when drivers commit criminal offenses.