Privacy regulators of the European Union said Wednesday (Nov. 29) they have created a task force to coordinate the inquiries into the data breach at Uber, which the ride-hailing company covered up for a year.
According to a news report in Reuters, European data protection authorities said regulators from France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the U.K. and Germany will all be part of the task force. Dutch authorities will lead the task force, since Uber has its European headquarters there. The group won’t be able to impose joint sanctions, and each country will also conduct its own individual investigation.
The creation of the task force comes as Uber faces extensive backlash after the company’s new chief executive, Dana Khosrowshahi, said Uber hid the data breach that impacted the personal data of roughly 57 million accounts. The stolen information included names, email addresses, mobile phones, and the names and license numbers of 600,000 U.S. drivers. Uber paid the hackers $100,000 to keep quiet about the cyberattack.
But it’s not just European regulators who want answers from Uber. Lawmakers in the U.S. have called for congressional hearings and asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look into the latest scandal at the ride-sharing company.
“We’ve been in touch with several state attorney general offices and the FTC to discuss this issue, and we stand ready to cooperate with them going forward,” Uber said in a company statement. Attorneys general in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York said they plan to launch their own investigations.
According to news from Reuters, Washington State’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the company, alleging that the names and drivers’ license numbers of at least 10,888 of the state’s Uber drivers had been stolen without their being notified, as state law requires. Meanwhile, regulators in the U.K., U.S., Australia and the Philippines are launching inquiries into how Uber handled the data breach.