Oklahoma Uber drivers

A national settlement means Oklahoma Uber drivers who worked for the company in late 2016 will receive $100 each, Attorney General Mike Hunter announced today.

The settlement shines light on how Uber covered up a November 2016 data breach that involved hackers obtaining driver usernames and email addresses. The company violated laws in all 50 states by failing to notify affected drivers until November 2017, and Uber also “paid off hackers to destroy the data,” according to a press release distributed by Hunter’s office Wednesday.

“Uber broke Oklahoma law, violated the trust of its employees and then tried to hide it,” Hunter said in the release. “This type of corporate misconduct is unacceptable and my office is committed to holding companies that engage in actions like this accountable. Although it doesn’t appear the information of those affected has been compromised, we are compelled to give the victims this money for their troubles and to show we are here to fight on their behalf. I appreciate and applaud attorneys general from across the nation for joining together to stand up for the victims of this crime.”

Oklahoma will receive $1.14 million of the $148 million settlement, Hunter’s release said. All drivers affected nationally will receive the $100 payments, per terms of the settlement.

According to Hunter’s office, Uber also must take multiple other steps agreed upon as part of the settlement:

  • Complying with state data breach and consumer protection laws regarding residents’ personal information and notifying them in the event of a data breach;
  • Taking precautions to protect user data Uber stores on third-party platforms;
  • Implementing strong password policies for employees to gain network access;
  • Developing stronger overall security policies for all data Uber collects about its users;
  • Hiring outside qualified parties to assess data security efforts on a regular basis and draft reports;
  • Developing a corporate integrity program to ensure Uber employees can voice ethical concerns.

Uber has faced numerous lawsuits since its launch in 2009, including a class action lawsuit among drivers who believe they have been misclassified as independent contractors, thus losing portions of tips they claim they are due.

Hunter is facing Democrat Mark Myles on Oklahoma’s 2018 general election ballot.

William W. Savage III (Tres) holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. He covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.