Ubers Pricey Surge

Uber hacking scandal

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What's going on?

On Tuesday, Uber the ride-hailing company potentially worth $120 billion was fined over $1 million for data breaches that affected European customers (tweet this).

What does this mean?

Uber was hacked in 2016 with the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of 57 million customers compromised. But the company didnt notify those affected and instead paid the hackers $100,000 to keep quiet.

In September, the company agreed to pay a $148 million fine in the US for not telling people (and regulators) there that their data was compromised. Now, Europe is catching up. UK regulators on Tuesday fined Uber $500,000 for the three million Brits affected, and Dutch regulators fined it $700,000. The company can count itself lucky, though: if the data breach happened today, itd be on the hook for 4% of its $7.5 billion global revenue, thanks to new European data privacy laws.

Why should I care?

For markets: Beware the regulator.

Regulatory scrutiny has battered Ubers windscreen of late. In London, the companys simultaneously arguing with the courts and its drivers about whether theyre freelancers or full employees entitled to benefits and holiday pay. That might all be for nothing: Ubers current London license is probationary, subject to good behavior over the next year. Elsewhere, in August, New York announced a cap (albeit temporary) on new taxi licenses. With Uber reporting slowing revenue growth last quarter and loading up with more debt, the company will need to turn things around soon and avoid any more conflicts in order to keep on feeding the meter.

For you personally: Prepare for tougher data laws.

Facebooks leaky walls have prompted lawmakers at home and abroad to ponder whether tech companies can be trusted to self-police, or if new regulations are needed the social media giant was slammed in Britains Parliament on Tuesday. More rules might hamstring firms future growth, but would put more power into users hands like Europes recent right to erasure.

Originally posted as part of the Finimize daily email.

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