The city of Los Angeles sued Uber on Monday, accusing the ride-hailing company of failing to inform the public immediately about a data breach that occurred more than a year ago.
City Attorney Mike Feuer’s lawsuit against Uber Technologies was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. It alleges the company broke state laws that require companies to report data breaches as soon as they are discovered or as soon possible.
The data breach was acknowledged by Uber just last month, about 13 months after it occurred, and it affected 57 million consumers worldwide, and 600,000 drivers nationwide.
Feuer’s lawsuit cited a New York Times article that reported that Uber paid a $100,000 ransom to the hackers who perpetrated the breach in return for having the stolen data destroyed. Uber company officials than allegedly “pressured” the hackers to sign a nondisclosure agreement and then passed off the ransom amount as fees paid to the hackers for testing vulnerabilities in its software, according to the lawsuit.
“We alleged Uber kept the hack quiet — a secret — for more than a year,” Feuer said.
He added that the latest incident was “especially troubling” because earlier in 2016, the company had reached a settlement with the New York attorney general on another allegation that another security breach was kept a secret for about six months.
The civil penalties owed to the city would be a maximum of $2,500 per violation for each of the two possible state law sections that applies. Proceeds from the penalties would be split between the city and county and would be used toward protecting consumers.
“These penalties are designed to hold the company accountable for its alleged actions and to deter future unlawful behavior,” Feuer said. “All of us, I think, are especially concerned that so many companies hold our personal information and it’s really important that they abide by California law.”
While Uber has said that only the driver’s licenses, names, emails and phone numbers were among the information accessed by hackers in the breach, Feuer said that through the lawsuit process, he intends to learn if any other types of data were breached and how many of the 600,000 drivers were in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is the latest to sue Uber…