Uber data breach could lead to flood of legal claims

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Nov 23, 2017
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The data breach occurred last year but was only revealed by Uber this week

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Uber could face a “huge number” of legal claims after personal information of millions of users and drivers was lost when the company was hacked, lawyers have predicted.

Hackers stole the personal information of 57 million users and drivers last year, but the breach was only revealed yesterday in a blog post by the company’s new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi.

Lawyers called on the company to clarify the extent of the data breach.

“Uber clearly has many questions to answer with regard to the failure to hold customers’ and drivers’ personal information securely as well as a failure to report the breach to the relevant regulatory authorities and notify those affected,” said Sean Humber, a partner at the London law firm Leigh Day, which recently acted on behalf of Uber drivers.

He added that customers and drivers affected by the data breach could bring claims for compensation for the distress caused and any losses suffered as a result of the misuse of their private information and breach of the Data Protection Act.

Susan Hall, a partner at the national firm Clarke Willmott, agreed that Uber executives would face some uncomfortable questions.

“While the common weakness in most hacks is the human factor, it’s tempting to think of this as unsophisticated users falling vulnerable to people with much greater technical knowledge,” she said, adding: “This does not seem to have been the case here. It seems more likely to be a case of Uber’s IT developers being careless and making use of shortcuts which exposed the company to the kind of security risks which occurred here.”

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