back to article EU's data protection bods join the party to investigate Uber breach

The massive Uber data breach will be discussed by the European Union's data protection authorities next week. The group, known as the Article 29 Working Party, is meeting on November 28-29 and has put the hack, which affected 57 million users, high on its agenda. A spokeswoman for the group, which is chaired by Isabelle …

  1. Andytug

    They need to hit Uber hard, and where it hurts, in the wallet

    They are an example of what unregulated capitalism can do in a free (but not fair) market.

    Avoid regulation by fair means or foul, exploit employees to the nth degree, and use venture capital as an unfair subsidy to drive out the competition, create a de facto monopoly, then rack up the prices and $$profit.

    Just because it has an app on top of it doesn't make it some kind of "new tech disruptor", tech is merely a different means to the same end in this case.

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: They need to hit Uber hard, and where it hurts, in the wallet

      Question. How can avoiding regulation count as being un-regulated? All the signs are that on various fronts regulation is going to catch up with them big time.

      Its a great argument for regulation - but its not valid to say Uber was unregulated.

      1. Andytug

        Re: They need to hit Uber hard, and where it hurts, in the wallet

        Not completely unregulated, true. More that they employ clever lawyers to try and skirt the grey areas around the edges of the regulation, effectively avoiding it (and all the associated costs their competitors have to bear).

      2. Tom Paine

        Re: They need to hit Uber hard, and where it hurts, in the wallet

        The issue seems to be that they don't think they really /are/ regulated -- not if that means "doing what the regulators and legislators say you must do". This is the big problem with regulation of all sorts - it's all very well having a big book (or books) of rules, but how'd you check whether the rules are having the desired effect? How'd you know people are obeying them? If you ARE lucky enough to catch someone flouting them, are the penalties commensurate with the harms suffered? It's the same from hardcore financial trading to retail banks to normal company accounts to the actions of the Big Four consultancies. It's there in infosec and in fire safety, as seen in W11 a few months ago (have a look online for the datasheets for ReynoBond PE, the cladding from Grenfell Tower that went up like a Victorian nightdress -- see all those fire safety certifications from around the world?) It turns up in healthcare and education, too, it's not a purely private sector problem. Come to that, it turns up in the context of government, law enforcement and the Intel Community, too.

        No, I don''t have a strong opinion on the answer. "spend more on monitoring compliance and make the penalties for wilful flouting include disbarring Directors and *real* fines" sounds good, but where do those regulators come from? As with the FCA monitoring of financial trading, they have to employ people who know the business inside out and who know the tricks and sleight-of-hands, which means you have to pay 'em Desk Head or MD level salaries - and those are pretty chunky; you won't get many takers for less than £250k. Not until the next massive round of redundo, anyway... OK infosec people are much cheaper than that, but here the problem is that even if you paid them a million quid a year, there simply aren't enough good experienced professionals to go round. You'd end up hiring half the security people in the country, leaving no-one to actually secure the regualated organisations·

        And so on and so forth.

        . (I only just discovered the much heralded GDPR fines, originally 5% of turnover but now down to 4%, are capped at £18m. Uber turned over $6.5Bn last year. You can bet a $260m fine would get Uber's attention, and that £18m will be lost under "misc. operating expenses, stationary, sundries" in next years Annual Report. So scrapping the cap would be a good start. We need to put a few firms out of business.)

        Shouty icon, because who doesn't feel better after an hour or so's bulgy-eyed bellowing about the inequity of it all?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: They need to hit Uber hard, and where it hurts, in the wallet

          "Uber turned over $6.5Bn last year."

          ...and still made a huge loss, burning through loads of VC. I'm sure most jurisdictions have laws against predatory pricing, ie sustained undercutting of the competition and making a loss to drive out some or all of the competition.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward told to sever ties with 'grubby, unethical' company

    Which one? There are so many.

    1. Tom Paine

      Re: told to sever ties with 'grubby, unethical' company


      ...just kidding.

    2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: told to sever ties with 'grubby, unethical' company

      And what about clean, ethical companies? Should they sever ties with the government over the sms charges?

      (Seriously... why do people stand for it? )

      Gimp because we must be masochists... it's the only thing that makes sense.

  3. The Nazz

    If only it were a media matter ...

    There'd be a quick court order made and certain websites shut down.

    Do this to have the "app" taken off the web/streets and shut down the drivers until the data breach is properly notified, in detail, to the authorities.

    It's long since due that the executives and direct management , eg including head of Uber UK, are faced with prosecution and serious jail time, forget the fees no matter how large.

    And finally, it's a bit rich, for anyone of us with even short memories, to hear MPs describe someone else as being grubby and unethical.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If only it were a media matter ...

      > And finally, it's a bit rich, for anyone of us with even short memories, to hear MPs describe someone else as being grubby and unethical.

      While I tend to agree with this sentiment I should point out many MPs get into the job because they want to make a difference and make the world a better place. While they have their own political views they are prepared to listen to reason. Some of these people are career politicians and some aren't. Some have reached positions of influence and some haven't.

      While this may seem obvious for some, it won't for others. I know this to be true due to personal connections. I also know that many are there purely to see what they can get for themselves and their cronies and/or are motivated by prejudice and hate. This includes many with positions of influence, and crosses party divides.

      The question is what the proportion of good vs bad is. I'd hazard a guess at around 50:50 but when you take power and influence into account, which is what those people crave, then that number is skewed somewhat. I won't reveal my political stance; as I said it's cross-party, and probably always will be.

  4. razorfishsl

    I hope they make the next season of "silicon Vally", this company could be a big part of it.

  5. Adrian Midgley 1

    Uber provides nothing which could not

    be provided otherwise.

    Preferably without any proprietary software involved, but that may be another matter.

    This particular company seems to have had its corporate culture set, and we would probably be best served by it going away.

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