Senators demand information on massive Uber data theft

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Uber says it paid hackers $100,000 after they stole data a year ago on 57 million of its users.

Uber Technologies Inc is also continuing talks with Japan's SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) over an investment, Brooks Entwistle, Uber's recently appointed chief business officer for Asia Pacific, told Reuters on Monday. Why Uber chose to stay mum on the incident isn't clear, but its previous CEO, Travis Kalanick, was notorious for trying to buck the rules.

Lawmakers say the breach opens new security concerns despite Uber's claims that sensitive information, such as riders' trip history and Social Security numbers, was not stolen.

"We have changed tacks in so many ways in dealing with regulators, dealing with governments", Entwistle said at the company's offices in Tokyo where he is meeting Japanese regulators.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx are suing Uber, over the rideshare company's massive data breach in 2016. Senators John Thune (R-SD), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in a joint letter pointed to an August 2017 settlement with the USA government's Federal Trade Commission that was supposed to resolve deceptive privacy and data security practices.

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Hatch chairs the Senate Committee on Finance and Thune chairs the Commerce Science and Transportation Committee. Uber paid hackers $100,000 to delete the data and keep the breach under wraps, and the company did not report the incident for more than a year.

On Monday, four Republican senators sent a letter to the ride-hailing company, asking for additional details surrounding the breach, which affected 57 million users, but was only disclosed last week. SoftBank is also expected to make a separate $1 billion investment in the company at the $68.5 billion valuation.

"We informed SoftBank that we were investigating a data breach, consistent with our duty to disclose to a potential investor, even though our information at the time was preliminary and incomplete", Uber told Bloomberg in an emailed statement.

Uber also faces scrutiny from several states; nearly every state in the U.S. has some form of data breach notification law. At least five states have also launched investigations.