Massive cyber attacks and data breaches are becoming commonplace these days.
Uber is the latest to join the likes of Facebook and Amazon in the growing list. However, in this case, the attack happened back in 2016 and wasn’t disclosed until now.
This is quite a similar situation to LinkedIn’s data breach, which saw millions of users’ data getting compromised years ago (2014) and the company not disclosing it until recently.
The UK and Netherlands’ government has fined Uber nearly $1.2 million for failing to protect the users’ privacy and data.
This Tuesday, British Commissioner Office said that the ride-hailing service was fined £385,000 ($491,000) while the Dutch government levied a fine of €600,000 ($679,000) for breaching Dutch data protection jurisprudence.
The attack occurred sometime between October and November 2016 and resulted in nearly 2.7 million users’ data being compromised in the UK alone.
Steve Eckersley, Director of Investigations from the British Information Commission Office, said that Uber displayed a “complete disregard for the customers and drivers whose personal information was stolen.”
At the time, no steps were taken to inform anyone affected by the breach, or to offer help and support. That left them vulnerable.
Official Dutch law requires companies to report any sort of data breach or hack within 72 hours of the incident. Uber failed to comply, which resulted in a hefty fine. The country’s data authority mentioned that 174,000 people were affected, estimating that data of around 57 million users around the world was also compromised.
In response to these fines and allegations, Uber said that the company is “pleased to close this chapter on the data incident from 2016”. It said that “we learn from our mistakes”, adding that they’ve made technical improvements to their security system after the incident.
As the Dutch authorities mentioned that users around the world were affected, this naturally includes Pakistani users as well. We’ll have to see whether PTA levies another fine on the ride-hailing service.