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EU privacy regulators to discuss Uber hack next week
November 23, 2017 / 5:20 PM / 25 days ago

EU privacy regulators to discuss Uber hack next week

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union privacy regulators will discuss ride-hailing app Uber’s massive data breach cover-up next week and could create a task-force to coordinate investigations.

FILE PHOTO: A photo illustration shows the Uber app on a mobile telephone, as it is held up for a posed photograph, in London, Britain November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

Uber faces regulatory scrutiny after CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company covered up a data breach last year that exposed personal data from around 57 million accounts.

The chair of the group of European data protection authorities - known as the Article 29 Working Party - said on Thursday the data breach would be discussed at its meeting on Nov. 28 and 29.

While EU data protection authorities cannot impose joint sanctions, they can set up task-forces to coordinate national investigations.

When a new EU data protection law comes into force next May, regulators will have the power to impose much higher fines - up to 4 percent of global turnover - and coordinate more closely.

FILE PHOTO: The chief executive of Uber Technologies Inc, Dara Khosrowshahi attends a meeting with Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles (not pictured) in Brasilia, Brazil October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

Uber paid hackers $100,000 to keep secret the massive breach.

The stolen information included names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of Uber users around the world, and the names and licence numbers of 600,000 U.S. drivers, Khosrowshahi said. Uber declined to say what other countries may be affected.

“We cannot but voice our strong concern for the breach suffered by Uber, which was reported belatedly by the U.S. company. We initiated our inquiries and are gathering all the information that can help us assess the scope of the data breach and take the appropriate steps to protect any Italian citizens involved,” said Antonello Soro, President of the Italian Data Protection Authority on Wednesday.

The British data protection authority also said the concealment of the breach raised “huge concerns” about Uber’s data policies and ethics.

Long known for its combative stance with local taxi regulators, Uber has faced a stream of top-level executive departures over issues from sexual harassment to data privacy to driver working conditions, which led its board to remove Travis Kalanick as CEO in June.

Reporting by Julia Fioretti; Editing by Mark Potter

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