The Los Angeles City Attorney has sued global ride-hailing app Uber, saying that the company broke California law when it failed to disclose a data breach that exposed the license numbers of 600,000 Uber drivers. Mike Feuer filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of California residents, Los Angeles Times reported late on Monday. “We’re taking action because we believe very strongly in the importance of protecting consumers,” Feuer said during a news conference.
“The case will focus on Uber’s failure to disclose the data breach to Uber’s California drivers,” he was quoted as saying. The lawsuit seeks $2,500 for each violation of the law. “The company is committed to changing the way we do business, putting integrity at the core of every decision we make, and working hard to regain the trust of consumers,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement.
In a blog post last month, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi revealed that the company in late 2016 became aware that two individuals outside the company had inappropriately accessed user data stored on a third-party Cloud-based service that it uses. The company suppressed information about the breach and paid the hackers a hefty $100,000 ransom to delete the data they had illegally obtained.
The breach included the names and license numbers of around 600,000 drivers in the US and some personal information of 57 million Uber users around the world. Regulators of at least five states in the US have said they will question the company for staying silent after the hack. “At least five states including Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York and Connecticut stated that they would investigate the matter,” ReCode reported.
This report comes at a time when the ride-hailing company is already battling a slew of other civil and criminal probes. An Israeli court has ordered global ride-hailing app Uber to stop two of its services in Tel Aviv in the absence of proper travel insurance. The court banned UberDay and UberNight, the company’s private-car services, while UberTaxi that takes requests via licensed taxi drivers has not been affected, Jerusalem Post reported late last month.