Chicago Becomes First City To Sue Uber For Hiding Massive Data Breach

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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The city of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Uber Monday, claiming the ride-sharing company violated city laws by not disclosing its massive 2016 data breach to customers and drivers.

The unadvertised hack compromised the personal information of more than 57 million of Uber’s customers and drivers, prompting the company to pay the hackers $100,000 to recover the data. Chicago’s lawsuit, filed in tandem with the surrounding Cook County, seeks $10,000 in damages for each resident who was affected by the breach, and for every day they continued to be affected. The city also demands $50,000 for breaking the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, and a further $10,000 for each resident over the age of 65 who was affected, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

“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,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “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 actions.”

While the total number of Chicago residents affected by the breach is unknown, Uber concealed the breach for more than a year, likely making it liable to pay millions to Chicago if the lawsuit is successful. Chicago’s is the second lawsuit Uber is facing over the data breach, with a customer filing a class action lawsuit in a Los Angeles court just hours after Uber announced the breach.

Chicago and Cook County have hired an outside law firm, Edelson PC, on contingency for the litigation. Edelson will be paid out of damages from the lawsuit.

Uber has been quick to issue apologies and promises of reform, but has yet to enter a courtroom with its accusers.

“We take this matter very seriously and we are happy to answer any questions regulators may have,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement. “We are committed to changing the way we do business, putting integrity at the core of every decision we make, and working hard to re-gain the trust of consumers.”

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