Sens. Casey, Toomey demand answers from Uber on data breach
U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined a growing chorus of lawmakers demanding answers from Uber in a massive data breach that the company allegedly tried to conceal and only recently disclosed.
Uber acknowledged a week ago that in 2016 hackers stole personal information from 57 million people in its system. The company is accused of paying the hackers $100,000 to cover up the breach.
“Uber’s failure to disclose this breach is unacceptable. Consumers have a basic right to know if their data has been stolen by hackers,” Casey, a Scranton Democrat, wrote in an email to the Tribune-Review.
Toomey’s office said the senator is concerned about the breach and the circumstances surrounding it. Toomey, a Lehigh Valley Republican, is on the Senate Finance Committee. The committee’s chair, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, co-signed a letter sent to Uber on Monday on behalf of fellow GOP committee members.
“Senator Toomey hopes Uber will respond quickly and thoroughly to the questions posed in the letter,” Toomey’s office wrote in an email to the Trib.
An Uber spokesperson told the Tribune-Review the company is taking the matter “very seriously.”
“We are happy to answer any questions regulators may have. 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.” the spokesperson wrote in an email.
Uber fired its chief security officer and hired new security personnel to investigate the breach, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said. An Uber spokesman told Recode that the company has been in contact with members of Congress and that it is working to respond.
The letter, signed by Hatch and three other senators , asked Uber when it first learned of the breach, how much and what type of data was compromised, whether Uber paid to try to cover up the hack and who Uber notified about the breach, among other questions.
Pennsylvania Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, called for an investigation into the breach and whether Uber violated a 2005 state law requiring businesses operating in the commonwealth to notify consumers of breaches. State Attorney General Josh Shapiro sent a letter to Uber demanding information.
The stolen data included the names and driver’s license numbers of about 600,000 drivers in the United States. The company is offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection, Khosrowshahi said on the company’s website . While Uber customers’ names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers were stolen, the hackers apparently didn’t get credit card or bank account numbers, Social Security numbers or dates of birth, Khosrowshahi said.
This story has been updated to include a comment from an Uber spokesperson.
Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected], 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.