Uber Singapore has announced that it is in the process of notifying various regulatory and government authorities.
This comes after chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi revealed on Tuesday (21 November) that hackers compromised personal data from some 57 million riders and drivers in a breach kept hidden for a year.
An Uber Singapore spokesperson told TODAY on Wednesday, in response to a query on whether Singaporean riders or drivers were affected by the data breach, “We are in the process of notifying various regulatory and government authorities and we expect to have ongoing discussions with them.”
He also added that they are not “in a position to get into any more details” until the process is completed.
Mr Khosrowshahi, who took over at the ridesharing giant in August, said, “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it.”
According to him, two members of the Uber information security team who “led the response” that included not alerting users that their data was breached were let go from the San Francisco-based company effective on Tuesday.
He then stressed that he only recently learned that outsiders had broken into a cloud-based server used by the company or data and downloaded a “significant” amount of information.
According to Uber, stolen files included names, email addresses, and mobile phone numbers for riders, and the names and driver license information of some 600,000 drivers.
According to a source who is familiar with the situation, Uber paid the hackers US$100,000 (S$135,465) to destroy the data, not telling riders or drivers whose information was at risk.
Co-founder and ousted chief Travis Kalanick was advised of the breach shortly after it was discovered. However, it was not made public until Uber’s new boss Mr Khosrowshahi found out.
Mr Khosrowshahi said, “You may be asking why we are just talking about this now, a year later. I had the same question, so I immediately asked for a thorough investigation of what happened and how we handled it.”
He said that what he learned about Uber’s failure to notify users or regulators has prompted corrective actions.
On Sunday (19 November), a viral Facebook post told the story of Jenna Lim who had a huge amount of fees charged to her bank account by UBER. The post has been shared more than 4,600 times and more than 1,100 netizens commented on it by the time the article is being written,
Ms Lim wrote she got a huge shocked and went to check on her transactions and it turned out that all transactions were made from Uber and charged in USD. More than 30 transactions were made from 13 November amounting to a total of more than $1,300. She said that it would have been worse if she did not check her bank statement.