Online cab-hailing company Uber says that it has disclosed details of the data breach in October 2016 to potential investor SoftBank Group before revealing it to the public earlier this week. Last month, reports said that Uber was in talks with SoftBank for a potential investment. The company said that at the time it did disclose the data breach to the potential investor even though “information at the time was preliminary and incomplete.”
Uber’s security breach affected both riders and drivers. The breach affected 57 million riders and personal information such as names, email addresses, and phone numbers were stolen. In the US, driver’s licence numbers of around 600,000 drivers were downloaded.
“We also made clear that our forensic investigation was ongoing. However, once our internal inquiry concluded and we had a more complete understanding of the facts, we disclosed to regulators and our customers in a very public way,” Uber said in a statement.
SoftBank is currently conducting its due diligence for an investment in Uber and said it may withdraw from investing in the company if conditions on share price and a minimum of shares are not satisfactory. According to the Associated Press, Softbank is looking at 14% stake in Uber against investment worth around $1 billion.
Uber paid hackers $100,000 to keep the incident a secret. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that two people – chief security officer Joe Sullivan and his deputy Craig Clark – who were responsible for handling the security breach have been fired.
Cab aggregation space India
Note that Uber competes with Ola in India, which has been on a funding spree and has SoftBank as a common investor. Last month, Ola raised $1.1 billion led by Tencent Holdings Limited in the latest round of funding. Ola’s existing investor SoftBank, in addition to other new US-based financial investors also participated in the round. Moreover, the cab aggregator has said in a statement at the time of funding that Ola is also in advanced talks with other investors to close an additional $1 billion as part of the current financing round, concluding a total raise of over $2 billion. In May this year, Uber infused Rs 51.64 crore into its India operations.