back to article Uber hid database hack from FTC while FTC probed Uber for an earlier database hack

Uber hid a database hack from America's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) while the very same watchdog was investigating Uber for a separate database hack, it was revealed on Thursday. The taxi app maker reached a settlement with the FTC in August 2017 after the biz allegedly "deceived consumers about its privacy and data …

  1. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    Penalties

    If, as Mitt Romney famously said, "Corporations are people, my friends....", then it is about time that this "person" be indicted, tried, and jailed for serial RICO statute violations.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Penalties

      If "corporations are people" then they should pay income tax on every penny they receive.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Penalties

        Thing is, like very rich people, they know plenty of tricks to prevent this...including the threat of moving out, leaving the government a choice: 10% of something or 100% of nothing?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "we would learn from our mistakes"

    Please, don't...

    "change the way we did business"

    This is getting difficult...

    "put integrity at the core of every decision we made"

    Please no, just stop, I really can't take much more...

    "taking responsibility for what happened"

    hahahahaha.

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      To be fair, why would they bother to "change the way we did business" when they can just "reach an agreement" with the regulator which always seems to include no admission of guilt.

      The penalties always seem to be derisory also.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I suspect the "no admission of guilt" is a practical approach for the US, since it enables the regulator to settle without encouraging the guilty party to contest the decision in court, and also it avoids the charge that the regulator is setting itself up as judge, jury and executioner. I agree that it seems inherently unsatisfactory, but at a practical level it is perhaps the only way of getting regulatory settlements done without decades of court "action", that might also result in perverse outcomes on narrow legal points.

        To illustrate this, the Enron bankruptcy in 2001 had serious legal action that continued for at least fifteen years through US courts, resulting in all manner of unworthy corporations getting big payouts, as well as some deserving cases (mostly banks) taking multi-billiion dollar hits. Would you want Uber to be handed to the US courts, with final settlement maybe the other side of 2030?

        1. JohnFen

          "I suspect the "no admission of guilt" is a practical approach for the US, since it enables the regulator to settle without encouraging the guilty party to contest the decision in court"

          I'm sure that's right, but, like with pleas bargains, practicality makes the practice no less corrupt.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            But like most things, it's the price of admission. Look how hard it is to get difficult bills past a Senate that's barred pork-barrel spending (which happens to be one of the best if not the ONLY way to get small-constituency senators on board--the ol' "What's in it for me and my constituents?").

            1. JohnFen

              "But like most things, it's the price of admission."

              You say that as if it justifies anything. All that fact does is help to drive home how corrupt our political system is.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                "You say that as if it justifies anything. All that fact does is help to drive home how corrupt our political system is."

                No, what it REALLY drives home is how corrupt the human condition is. Politics simply bring these problems to the fore and present real dilemma. Frankly, the people best suited for the job are usually too busy to take the job willingly, so you gotta make do with what's left. You got any better ideas that take the human condition into consideration?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The FTC, sinking soft gums into corporate abusers

    Do we have any regulators?

  4. ma1010
    FAIL

    Europeans are lucky

    You've got GDPR coming. That would bankrupt a lot of our crooked outfits here in the US, so nothing like that will EVER become law here.

    1. DontFeedTheTrolls
      Boffin

      Re: Europeans are lucky

      1) Start a company

      2) Break the law

      3) Get fined

      4) Go Bankrupt

      5) Goto 1

  5. The Nazz

    Double standards?

    Many European, and wider world banks, have been fined massive amounts for breaking a few rules.

    US financial institutions nearly brought the worlds financial system to it's knees in 2007, saved only by the grace and favour of our very own Gordon Brown.*

    And now, Uber get a slight tap on the wrists for being naughty, very naughty.

    And no doubt, despite the events occurring in 2014/2015, many posters on here will blame Trump rather than the double term former president.

    *i'm dubious about this latter bit being accurate

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Double standards?

      Do a search on largest banking fines in history (or similar). I think you'll find that the most heavily fined banks were mostly US institutions (eg Bank of America, three entries in the the top ten), and the non-US banks who copped fines in the top ten (HSBC, BNP-P, Deutsche Bank) were done for mostly the same sort of CDO related frauds in the US market. Whereas the big French & German banks got away scott-free with their idiotic lending that burned out the Greek, Spanish and Portugese economies. causing damage that by the time it is past will have lasted a generation (and for which much of the losses still haven't been properly realised and written down).

      I'd agree it often looks like foreign corporations get a harsher ride from US regulators - the evidence of the fines appears to show otherwise, and that European regulators give corporations far too much the benefit of the doubt. Whether either approach is more or less successful in discouraging future misbehaviour I can't really say, but the serial mis-selling and related scandals of UK banks in the domestic market don't indicate that the UK approach achieves that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Double standards?

      Well given that the pathetically underwhelming settlement with the FTC was made in August 2017 when Trump was president, it does seem entirely reasonable to blame him, what's your point?

    3. Someone Else Silver badge

      @The Nazz -- Re: Double standards?

      And no doubt, despite the events occurring in 2014/2015, many posters on here will blame Trump rather than the double term former president.

      Anybody with 2 neurons to rub together would realize that the only entity to "blame" would be Uber.

  6. GIRZiM
    Pirate

    I am please to announce that we have arranged legal sanction against ourselves.

    "I am pleased that just a few months after announcing this incident, we have reached a speedy resolution with the FTC that holds Uber accountable for the mistakes of the past by imposing new requirements that reasonably fit the facts."

    It was so our idea and the FTC were having none of it: "Dara, Tony," they said, because we're on first name terms, "Dara, Tony, we can't do that to you guys - we're on first name terms!" But we (Dara and I) insisted and, as a result, I am pleased to announce that we have been, albeit the FTC were reluctant to do so, I hasten to add, because we are on first name terms, we have been legislated against in no uncertain terms because, here at Uber, we (Dara and I) believe in facing the music and taking responsibility for our actions in no uncertain terms just as if it had been a matter we could not influence either way; not even with the offer of serious sums of money and a lot of free rides in our taxis and no data collected about those journeys (not even if they were to brothels or mistresses or to make deals with drug barons or people traffickers or anyone else with whom our close friends from the FTC, with whom, I hasten to add, we are on first name terms, might have perfectly legitimate meetings at odd hours of the night, not that either Dara or I are implying that they might).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold them accountable

    All digital hacks should be reported to authorities. Those who fail to do so should face very expensive fines and even imprisonment in certain cases. Corporate CEOs should not escape accountability for their failure to secure their data. Blighty should not harbor digital criminals nor deny extradition of hackers. Doing so is not justice at all.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Hold them accountable

      But how do you get the laws changed to enforce this?

      1. Oliver Mayes

        Re: Hold them accountable

        Start a gofundme to raise enough money to buy your own politicians.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Hold them accountable

          I have a feeling anything gofundme could offer the monied interests could top tenfold and not even feel it.

    2. cbars

      Re: Hold them accountable

      AC, Is that a reference to Gary McKinnon? You went well off track there.

      Blighty can, and jolly well should deny extradition when it's judged by Blighty to not be just. US of A does not grant extradition Willy Nilly because some other country decides a citizen is a 'hacker' (black hat? GET sender? Steam punk enthusiast?).

      I don't understand why your comment is relevant to the article, or indeed why you would hold such an absolutist opinion

  8. JohnFen

    You can always count on Uber

    You can always count on Uber to make Facebook and company look good in comparison.

  9. Cynicalmark
    WTF?

    Ahhhh

    Uber.......because millenials don’t give a crap for anyone else

    Well neither do Uber yet they all lecture you like a vegan that this is the company to use for a cab....arrgghhhh!!!!!!!

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