Uber concealed a massive global breach of personal information in 2016 by paying the hackers responsible $100,000 to delete the data and keep quiet, it has been revealed.
The San Francisco-based startup announced on Tuesday, November 21 that its Amazon Web Services account was breached in October 2016, putting the personal information of its 57 million registered customers and drivers at risk.
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Hackers stole personal data – including names, email addresses and phone numbers – belonging to an undisclosed number of riders, as well as the names and driver’s license numbers of around 600,000 drivers in the United States.
The company said that more sensitive information, such as location history, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers and birth dates, was not compromised during the external breach.
“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” wrote Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement. “While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes.”
Khosrowshahi added that the firm “obtained assurances that the downloaded data had been destroyed,” but its “failure to notify affected individuals” prompted him to dismiss the high-ranking employees responsible for the cover-up.
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Uber is in hot, hot water
Whatever way you slice it, Uber has had a terrible year. Its former CEO Travis Kalanick was forced to resign after it had been revealed that the Department of Justice (DoJ) was conducting five separate investigations into his operations.
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Since Khosrowshahi was appointed CEO in August, the company has started to get back on its feet – but it still has a long way to go. It’s fighting lawsuit after lawsuit and risks being banned in key markets, like Copenhagen and London.
Is this revelation enough to push you to a competitor? Or will you continue using Uber? Be sure to let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.