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SAN FRANCISCO: Uber Technologies has settled with the top legal officers in all 50 US states to 57 million customers in 2016 over a massive data breach that the company failed to disclose in 2016, resolving one of the more catastrophic embarrassments that have engulfed the ride-hailing company over the last couple of years.
The agreement was with the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to resolve their legal inquiries on this matter, Uber’s chief legal officer Tony West said in a statement released Wednesday.
The breach wasn’t disclosed until late 2017, when Uber revealed that it paid the hackers $100,000 to destroy the data. It’s the largest ever multi-state data breach settlement, according to the New York attorney general.
In April, Uber settled a case with the Federal Trade Commission, which was investigating claims that Uber deceived customers over this breach.
Uber’s response and cover up of the breach led to the firing of Joe Sullivan, the company’s chief security officer at the time. Uber didn’t report the incident that occurred in October 2016. Instead, the company paid hackers $100,000 to get rid of the evidence and keep the data breach a secret, which Bloomberg first reported.
West noted that Uber (and in Khosrowshahi’s first year as CEO) has worked to improve safety and security following the scandal: Ruby Zefo, became Uber’s top executive focused on privacy. Matt Olsen also joined as chief trust and security officer.
The settlement follows a 10-month investigation into a data breach that exposed personal data from around 57 million accounts, including 600,000 driver’s license numbers. The terms also include changes to Uber’s business practices to prevent future breaches and to reform its corporate culture.
“Our current management team’s decision to disclose the incident was not only the right thing to do, it embodies the principles by which we are running our business today: transparency, integrity, and accountability,” said Uber chief legal officer Tony West in a blog post on Wednesday.
“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,” he added.