Cover Up by Uber of Data Breach Might Bring EU Investigations

Privacy regulators in the European Union will be discussing the massive breach of private data at Uber the ride-hailing startup that was covered up. Next week the EU regulators could form a task force to start investigations into the breach and subsequent cover up.

Uber is facing regulatory scrutiny after is CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced this week that the company had covered up a 2016 data breach that had exposed the personal data of more than 57 million of its accounts.

The chair of the data protection authorities or Article 20 Working Party in the EU said Thursday that the data breach would be a topic of discussion at its November 28 and 29 meeting.

While the data protection authorities in the EU cannot impose any joint sanctions, they are able to establish task forces that coordinate investigations.

When a new data protection law in the EU, scheduled to start in May of 2018, begins, regulators will then have the power to impose fines that are much higher or up to 4% of the global turnover of a business, as well as coordinate closer.

Uber, to keep the huge data breach secret, paid the hackers $100,000.

The data that was stolen by hackers included names, phone numbers, and email addresses of users of Uber across the globe, as well as the names and license numbers for 600,000 drivers in the U.S., said the Uber top executive Khosrowshahi.

Uber did not say what the other countries were that might have been affected.

On Wednesday, a Data Protection Authority in Italy released a statement in which its president Antonello Soro said we would like to voice our big concern for the Uber data breach, which was reported late by the company.

We started our own inquiries and are bringing together all the necessary information that will help assess the overall scope of this breach and take appropriate steps needed to protect any citizens from Italy who are involved, said Soro.

The data protection authority in Britain said that the concealing of the data breach raised big concerns about the policies and ethics related to data security at Uber.

Known for some time for the combative stance it takes with tax regulators, Uber has seen several of its top level executives depart over issues that ranged from data privacy to sexual harassment to the working conditions of drivers, which led the board at the company to remove the founder of the company Travis Kalanick as the CEO last June.

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