Daily Bulletin


The Conversation

  • Written by Rohan Miller, Senior Lecturer, Marketing and Digital Business, University of Sydney

Uber has admitted that a 2016 data breach put at risk the personal information of 57 million Uber users worldwide and at least 600,000 drivers in the United States.

The ride-share firm’s CEO said that:

two individuals outside the company had inappropriately accessed user data stored on a third-party cloud-based service that we use.

Read more: Will Australians ever give up Uber?

Now it has been reported that Australian riders and drivers are part of the data breach.

It would be prudent for Australian Uber users and drivers to change their passwords as soon as possible. Here’s what else you need to know:

If you use Uber, your name, email address and mobile phone number may have been leaked

Uber says:

Rider information [put at risk in this data breach] included the names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers related to accounts globally. Our outside forensics experts have not seen any indication that trip location history, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers or dates of birth were downloaded.

Breaches of this kind can mean an increase in people receiving spam email. Some experts have said that any personal information could be worth something to criminals.

What evidence is there that the hack included data from Australian users of Uber?

The public disclosures Uber has made so far make it very difficult to identify Australians caught up in the data breach. That’s because the firm was not very transparent about it.

Media reports that Uber worked hard to conceal the data breach suggest Uber’s corporate governance needs improvement.

In its recent statement on the data breach, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi acknowledged the firm’s “failure to notify affected individuals or regulators last year” and promised to do better.

I’m an Uber driver. What do I need to know?

Uber has said:

Driver information included the names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers related to accounts globally. In addition, the driver’s license numbers of around 600,000 drivers in the United States were downloaded.

As with the message to riders, Uber says it has seen no indication that trip location history, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, or dates of birth were downloaded.

The firm says that it is directly notifying affected drivers by mail or email, and is offering them free credit monitoring and identity theft protection – but, in any case, it’s a good idea for any Uber driver to change their password.

The longer-term issue is that news of the hack might conceivably dissuade some people from using Uber at all, which would be bad news for drivers.

So a fundamental part of Uber’s crisis management strategy should be educating drivers on how to respond to consumer questions about data privacy. This will not only assure the drivers but also help rebuild the trust of customers.

That said, it is pre-Christmas party time in cities throughout the world, and that means boom time for the Uber, taxi and personal transport industries.

So it’s easy to imagine there would be only a small impact on Uber drivers over this period.

What’s the cost of online convenience?

Uber is not the first and won’t be the last to be involved in a data breach. As transactions are increasingly made over the internet, it is highly likely Australians will fall victim to more and more data hacks.

Read more: Sorry everyone: on the internet, you’re always the product

Consumers who may be left out-of-pocket, receiving increased spam email and risking other privacy breaches such as identity theft may be less than loyal to firms that don’t look after their data.

Moreover, as there is money and influence to be gained through online data crime, it is highly likely that criminals will become better organised to reap the incentives in a very strategic manner.

It’s worth remembering that, in many cases, the cost of convenience for using a service over the internet is your private information.

Many people do not read the terms and conditions they agreed to for internet transactions, and they may shocked by the level of exposure they face.

Consumers accept financial and privacy risk by trading over the internet, all for the sake of cheap tickets, discount car rides and other conveniences.

As these breaches happen more often, it may be impossible to totally avoid one’s exposure to internet-based transactions and online data storage. So there will likely be increasing pressure on politicians and regulators to add some real teeth to prosecutions (although many seem to be based in difficult-to-prosecute jurisdictions).

The Australian government’s notifiable data breach scheme will start on February 22, 2018. It only applies to eligible data breaches that occur on, or after, that date.

Read more: You may be sick of worrying about online privacy, but ‘surveillance apathy’ is also a problem

How can Uber prevent this from happening again?

In the short term, Uber says it has “implemented security measures to restrict access to and strengthen controls on our cloud-based storage accounts”.

The longer-term problem is changing the attitudes that led to the data breach being concealed for so long.

When Dara Khosrowshahi took over as Uber’s CEO last August, hopes were high that he would soften some aspects of the extreme-performance culture that led to earlier ethical lapses in Uber.

There may be a perception among consumers that the firm’s desire to keep secret its intellectual property relating to algorithms has spread to its broader operations.

A good start for Uber would be to increase its public reporting on its operations. A widely publicised code of ethics, whistleblowing protections and ethics training for all staff would certainly not go amiss.

Authors: Rohan Miller, Senior Lecturer, Marketing and Digital Business, University of Sydney

Read more http://theconversation.com/uber-was-hacked-so-change-your-password-right-now-heres-what-else-you-need-to-know-87998

Writers Wanted

How Australian vice-chancellors' pay came to average $1 million and why it's a problem

arrow_forward

The Average Water Bill in Sydney

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Business News

Nisbets’ Collab with The Lobby is Showing the Sexy Side of Hospitality Supply

Hospitality supply services might not immediately make you think ‘sexy’. But when a barkeep in a moodily lit bar holds up the perfectly formed juniper gin balloon or catches the light in the edg...

The Atticism - avatar The Atticism

Buy Instagram Followers And Likes Now

Do you like to buy followers on Instagram? Just give a simple Google search on the internet, and there will be an abounding of seeking outcomes full of businesses offering such services. But, th...

News Co - avatar News Co

Cybersecurity data means nothing to business leaders without context

Top business leaders are starting to realise the widespread impact a cyberattack can have on a business. Unfortunately, according to a study by Forrester Consulting commissioned by Tenable, some...

Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable - avatar Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion