Mayor Emanuel and State’s Attorney Foxx file lawsuit against Uber for 2016 data breach

The Uber website is displayed on a phone in London, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. London's transport authority said Friday it won't renew Uber's license to operate in the British capital, arguing that it demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility with implications in public safety and security. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

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More bad news for Uber: Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced they are joining others in filing lawsuits against Uber in response a data breach in 2016 that may have exposed the personal data of over 57 million users.

The mayor and attorney are citing Uber for not properly protecting the data of its users (either customers or drivers) and for failure to disclose the breach for over a year.

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“Not only did Uber allow a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of millions of drivers and passengers, they brazenly attempted to conceal this information from the public,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The City of Chicago will not tolerate these kinds of irresponsible practices, which is why we are taking legal action to hold Uber accountable for their reckless actions.”

Kim Foxx added: “We filed this lawsuit because Uber must be held accountable for its actions which have made its customers vulnerable to identity theft, fraud, and other abuse. Consumers expect and deserve protection from disclosure of their personal information. I am committed to ensuring that those who don’t follow these laws cannot simply sweep it under the rug.”

In 2014 there was another breach, the causes of which were supposedly remedied as Uber “agreed to make significant updates to its security practices to meet industry standards.” However, these protocols were never put into place.

According to the press release, “[t]he lawsuit seeks civil penalties and fines under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Chicago Municipal Code.”

The news of the lawsuit comes on the heels of Chicago already planning on raising rideshare taxes to 67 cents per ride. This is an increase of 15 cents, all of which will go to funding public transportation.

This lawsuit might also be in response to what Emanuel claims is millions in lost revenue, claiming that these rideshare services have cost Chicago taxpayers $40 million.

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Attorney Generals in the states of New York, Connecticut, Missouri, and Massachusetts are filing lawsuits and launching their own investigations as well. Other lawsuits in California and Oregon have been filed that allege negligence on the part of Uber to protect consumer data.

On a blog post from a week ago, Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosroshahi wrote, “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it. While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes.”

What do you think?

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