RELEASE: OFFICE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION REACHES $148 MILLION MULTI-STATE SETTLEMENT WITH UBER OVER DATA BREACH

Posted on Sep 26, 2018 in News Releases, OCP

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS
OFFICE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR

Catherine P. Awakuni Colón
DIRECTOR

STEPHEN H. LEVINS
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2018

OFFICE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION REACHES $148 MILLION MULTI-STATE SETTLEMENT WITH UBER OVER DATA BREACH

HONOLULU – Stephen Levins, Executive Director of the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection, announced that he, along with the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, has reached an agreement with California-based ride-sharing company Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) to address the company’s one-year delay in reporting a data breach to its affected drivers.

Uber learned in November 2016 that hackers had gained access to some personal information that Uber maintains about its drivers, including drivers’ license information pertaining to approximately 600,000 drivers nationwide. Uber tracked down the hackers and obtained assurances that the hackers deleted the information. However, even though some of that information, namely drivers’ license numbers for Uber drivers, triggered Hawaii law requiring them to notify affected Hawaii residents, Uber failed to report the breach in a timely manner, waiting until November 2017 to report it.

“This is a message to Uber and others that once a security breach is detected, the victims and law enforcement must be informed as soon as possible. Uber’s unreasonable delay of a year in alerting its affected drivers and law enforcement authorities is particularly appalling. Security breach laws exist to protect consumers, not a company’s reputation,” said Stephen Levins. “Hawaii law is clear, once a security breach is discovered, a company must provide notification without ‘unreasonable delay’ to both affected persons and the Office of Consumer Protection.”

As part of the nationwide settlement, Uber has agreed to pay $148 million to the states. Hawaii will receive approximately $700,000. In addition, Uber has agreed to strengthen its corporate governance and data security practices to help prevent a similar occurrence in the future.

The settlement between the State of Hawaii and Uber requires the company to:

  • Comply with Hawaii data breach and consumer protection law regarding protecting Hawaii residents’ personal information and notifying them in the event of a data breach concerning their personal information;
  • Take precautions to protect any user data Uber stores on third-party platforms outside of Uber;
  • Use strong password policies for its employees to gain access to the Uber network;
  • Develop and implement a strong overall data security policy for all data that Uber collects about its users, including assessing potential risks to the security of the data and implementing any additional security measures beyond what Uber is doing to protect the data;
  • Hire an outside qualified party to assess Uber’s data security efforts on a regular basis and draft a report with any recommended security improvements. Uber will implement any such security improvement recommendations; and
  • Develop and implement a corporate integrity program to ensure that Uber employees can bring any ethics concerns they have about any other Uber employees to the company, and that it will be heard.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia are participating in this multistate agreement with Uber.

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Media Contact:
William Nhieu
Communications Officer
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Email: wnhieu@dcca.hawaii.gov
Phone: (808) 586-7582
Cell: (808) 389-2788