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Missouri to receive $2.2M in Uber data breach settlement

Missouri to receive $2.2M in Uber data breach settlement

September 29th, 2018 by Philip Joens in Local News

Missouri will receive $2.2 million as part of nationwide settlement with Uber Technologies stemming from a 2016 data breach, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced in a news release Wednesday.

Uber settled with all 50 states and the District of Columbia on Wednesday after hackers gained access to the drivers’ license information of 600,000 drivers nationwide in November 2016, Hawley’s office said in a news release. Uber acknowledged the release in November 2017, when the company said it paid a $100,000 ransom for the information to be destroyed, according to the Associated Press.

Hawley’s office filed a case accusing Uber of violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act on Wednesday in Cole County Circuit Court and settled the case the same day.

Hawley said in a news release the settlement sends a strong message to technology companies to be careful with users’ data.

“This settlement sends a strong message that data breaches cannot be swept under the rug,” he said in a news release. “When Missourians’ personal information has been compromised, they deserve to be informed about the breach in a timely fashion.”

In the suit, Hawley’s office said Uber violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by failing to implement and maintain reasonable security practices to protect sensitive information it maintains for users, concealing a data breach that affected users and by telling users that it protected data after users’ data had been compromised.

“Uber suffered a data breach of security and willfully and knowingly failed to notify affected Missouri consumers without reasonable delay,” Hawley’s office said in the suit in Cole County Circuit Court.

The settlement requires Uber employees to use strong passwords, encrypt the personal information of riders and drivers and comply with other state consumer protection laws safeguarding information. Uber also must hire a third party to conduct an assessment of Uber’s data security and implement the third-party firm’s recommendations.

In April 2017, former Gov. Eric Greitens signed a law legalizing ride-hailing services like Uber to operate statewide. Uber began operating in Jefferson City later that same day. Before statewide legalization, Uber operated in Kansas City, Columbia, Kansas City and Springfield.

Hawley’s office said each Uber driver impacted in Missouri will receive a $100 payment from the settlement. The state of Missouri will appoint a settlement administrator to disburse the payments, according to Hawley’s news release.