SAN FRANCISCO (CBSLA/AP) – Uber has reached a staggering $148 million settlement over allegations that it tried to cover up a massive 2016 data breach from the public.
The California Attorney General announced Wednesday that the San Francisco-based company will pay $148 million to all 50 states and the District of Columbia to settle a lawsuit alleging that it waited a whole year before notifying an estimated 57 million customers and drivers that their data had been exposed in a breach.
In November 2016, Uber learned that hackers had accessed the personal information of Uber customers and drivers including names, email addresses and cell phone numbers.
However, it did not come clean about the breach until November 2017, when the hack was uncovered by Uber’s board of directors.
“We found that they paid the hackers involved $100,000 in exchange for the hackers’ silence,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra at a news conference Wednesday.
Of that settlement total, California will receive a $26 million portion which will be split between the San Francisco district attorney’s office and the California Department of Justice.
“We allege that Uber failed to inform over 174,000 Uber drivers (in California) of a data breach that exposed their personal information, including names and driver’s license numbers,” Becerra said. “Overall, nationwide, some 600,000 Uber drivers and a total of 57 million customers and Uber drivers had their personal information exposed by this breach.”
As part of the deal, Uber will be required to integrate a privacy failsafe into the design of its software.
“For the first time in history, an AD’s office has required a company to implement privacy by design into its products,” Becerra said. “That means Uber must integrate privacy considerations and protections into every phase of its product developments and design.”
Tony West, chief legal officer for Uber, said the decision by current managers was “the right thing to do.”
“It embodies the principles by which we are running our business today: transparency, integrity, and accountability,” West said.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)