Uber to Pay $20,000 in Settlement Over Delay in Informing Drivers of Data Breach

Uber settles privacy charges in New York (PHOTO CREDIT: Nick Barber)
Uber settles privacy charges in New York (PHOTO CREDIT: Nick Barber)

Uber has agreed to pay a $20,0000 penalty in a settlement with New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman for delays in informing drivers of a data breach involving their personal information in 2014.

The ride-hailing company also agreed to tighten employee access to geo-location data of passengers, following reports that the company’s executives had an aerial “God View” of such data, the office of the attorney general said in a statement Wednesday.

Uber notified Schneiderman’s office on Feb. 26, 2015 that driver names and license numbers were accessed by an unauthorized third party in a data breach that was discovered as early as September 2014. The fine was imposed on the company for its delay in providing timely notice of the data breach to the affected drivers and the attorney general’s office.

An Uber engineer had posted on Github.com in early 2014 an access ID for Uber’s third-party cloud storage in a post accessible to the public, and by May 12, 2014, someone not linked to Uber had accessed the database that included the driver information, according to the attorney general’s office.

Uber also ran into controversy in 2014 following a report on BuzzFeed that an Uber executive had used a “God View” to track its reporter’s ride without permission. The controversy prompted U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who is also a ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, to question Uber’s privacy policies, including who in the company and for what reason had access to the “God View” tool.

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SOURCE: Computer World, John Ribeiro

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