Britain is preparing to fine ride-sharing giant Uber for hiding a massive client data theft by employing hackers with officials saying the fine could be “higher than usual”.
Uber on Tuesday admitted that it had paid off a team of hackers who had stolen the personal information of over 57 million users and drivers last year.
It said it had done this to conceal the global data breach from those affected – what it had kept from the authorities.
In a public statement acknowledging the incident, Uber’s recently installed chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi confirmed that the $68 billion startup suffered a considerable security breach in October 2016, when cyber criminals managed to obtain personal data of its customers and employees, such as names, email addresses and phone numbers as well as drivers’ license numbers.
“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” a statement from Khosrowshahi read, as reported by the media.
“While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes.”
Meanwhile, Britain’s Deputy Information Commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone said Wednesday the company faces “higher fines” because it concealed the hack from the public.
“If UK citizens were affected then we should have been notified so that we could assess and verify the impact on people whose data was exposed,” Dipple-Johnstone was quoted as saying by AP.
The Information Commissioner’s Office and the National Cyber Security Center are working to gauge the severity of the problem for British Uber users, the news service added.