Key Dem calls for FTC to investigate Uber data breach

Key Dem calls for FTC to investigate Uber data breach
© Greg Nash

A key Democrat is calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate a massive Uber breach that released data on 57 million people, as well as the company's delay in reporting the cyber incident.

"The unending barrage of breaches shows that the current system is not working for consumers," said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneIntercept bureau chief: Democrats dropping support of Medicare for All could threaten bill's momentum House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 House Democrats criticize Texas's 'shortcomings in preparations' on winter storms MORE (N.J.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in a statement Wednesday.

"The Federal Trade Commission must immediately begin an investigation into both the breach itself and the company's outrageous delay in disclosing the breach."


Pallone also called on Uber executives to appear on Capitol Hill. 

"As the Committee with jurisdiction over cyber matters such as this, I believe Uber needs to testify before the Committee to explain not only what data was disclosed in this incident but also why the company chose to hide this incident for so long from the public and regulators," he said. 

"Congress can and should take action now to pass legislation that makes companies more accountable and provides meaningful protections for consumers." 

An FTC spokesperson did not comment on whether it was officially investigating the breach.

"We are aware of press reports describing a breach in late 2016 at Uber and Uber officials’ actions after that breach," a spokesperson said. "We are closely evaluating the serious issues raised."

Uber settled with the FTC last August after the company falsely assured its customers that their data was protected from snooping employees.

Uber said in a statement the company was ready to cooperate in future investigations. 

"We've been in touch with several Attorney General Offices and the FTC to discuss this issue, and we stand ready to cooperate with them going forward," an Uber spokesperson said. 

Pallone's comments come after it was revealed on Tuesday that hackers stole personal information belonging to 50 million Uber riders and 7 million drivers across the globe. 

The company paid the hackers $100,000 to delete the data and keep the breach secret, Bloomberg reported.

Uber has since fired its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, and one of his deputies for hiding the breach. 

The incident has sparked investigations in the U.S. and across the globe. 

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) confirmed his office had launched a probe into the matter, while multiple countries including the United Kingdom, Australia and the Philippines said they would investigate the matter as well. 

This story was updated at 3:08 p.m.