More bad news for Uber: After revealing that it paid hackers $100,000 to keep quiet about stealing the personal information of 57 million customers and drivers, the company is now facing at least three potential class-action lawsuits.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Uber is also under investigation by the attorneys general of New York, Missouri, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Illinois.
It took more than a year for Uber to disclose the massive data breach that exposed the names, email addresses and phone numbers of millions of passengers, as well as the drivers’ license numbers of 600,000 drivers. To make matters worse, the company paid a ransom to the hackers in exchange for deleting the stolen data and hiding the incident.
As a result, plaintiffs have filed three separate potential class-action lawsuits in California and Oregon that allege Uber was negligent in its failure to protect consumer data. The suits also claim that consumers were harmed by having their data compromised without being notified in a timely manner.
In addition, five attorneys general have launched investigations into the company.
“We have serious concerns about the reported conduct,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in a statement.
Attorneys general Eric Schneiderman of New York, Lisa Madigan of Illinois and George Jepsen of Connecticut are also looking into the matter.
In response to the investigations, an Uber spokesman said in a statement, “We’ve been in touch with several attorney general offices and the [Federal Trade Commission] to discuss this issue, and we stand ready to cooperate with them going forward.”
Uber is also facing questions about the breach outside the U.S. – Reuters reported that Mexico’s National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data announced it wanted to determine how many of the country’s citizens had been affected, as well as the steps Uber would take to control the damage and prevent future breaches.
Aside from Uber’s legal troubles, the data breach might also have an impact on its valuation at a time when SoftBank is expected to make an offer to buy billions of dollars’ worth of shares from the company’s stakeholders.
“This is just going to be more leverage for SoftBank,” Anand Sanwal, chief executive of tech-focused research firm CB Insights, told The Wall Street Journal. If investors believe there is new potential for litigation and regulatory measures, he said, “that is going to have an impact on the valuation.”