Uber Technologies Inc has informed Britain's data protection regulator that about 2.7 million user accounts - representing the vast majority of people using the ride-hailing service in the country - were affected by a 2016 data breach. The company said it has no evidence that trip location history, credit card information, bank account details, or dates of birth were taken.
"When this happened, we took immediate steps to secure the data, shut down further unauthorised access, and strengthen our data security", it said in a statement.
Uber has confirmed that this figure is correct, and that the breach involved names, mobile phone numbers and email addresses - although the ICO noted that the company has not yet begun to inform affected users yet. "The public will want to know how there could be this catastrophic breach of personal data security".
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News of the hack comes just months after Uber lost its London operating licence in September, with Transport for London declaring that the app was not "fit and proper" to hold one.
"Uber needs to urgently confirm which of their customers are affected, what is being done to ensure these customers don't suffer adversely, and what action is being taken to prevent this happening again in the future".
The lawsuit asked to fine Uber at least $3,650,000, which is $10,000 a day for every day Uber failed to disclose the data breach. They also warned that those in the United Kingdom affected should have been notified.
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Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive of Uber, said that the company identified the hackers and "obtained assurances that the downloaded data had been destroyed". On its own this information is unlikely to pose a direct threat to citizens.
In a letter to Ferguson's office last week, an Uber attorney wrote that the company "now thinks it was wrong not to provide notice to affected users at the time".
Currently, ICO is waiting on technical reports for full confirmation on the damage, including exact details on compromised personal information.
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