Europe's data protection authorities can streamline their investigations into companies, something that is exceptional, but that has happened in big cases including the Yahoo data breach earlier this year.
So, on Wednesday, the regulators made a decision to form a task force to deal with the Uber breach, in which the company covered up the fact that hackers had stolen the details of 57 million users around the world.
The stolen information includes names, email addresses and phone numbers and - for USA drivers - licence numbers.
The complaint also noted that "Uber is aware of its responsibilities to provide notice of data security breaches", citing the fact that, in 2016, "the New York Attorney General fined Uber for failing to notify drivers and that office about a data breach that occurred in 2014". When trying to take on USA giants such as Google (googl) and Facebook (fb) over their flouting of European privacy law, the regulators learned a few years ago that it was best to coordinate their investigations for maximum impact.
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Washington law requires both affected consumers and the attorney general's office to be notified within 45 days of the breach.
"Washington law is clear, when a data breach puts people at risk, businesses must inform them", Ferguson said, in announcing what he billed as a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.
The letter also notes that Uber entered into a consent order with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in August 2017 in response to the company's privacy and data security standards.
"Uber's conduct has been truly stunning". The ride-hire company denied that other, more sensitive information like user financial details or location history had been compromised.
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The lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court contends Uber's failure to protect consumers' personal information violated city and state laws.
In a statement Tuesday, Uber said it takes the matter seriously and is cooperating with regulators.
Ferguson's lawsuit is the first from a state, although attorneys general in New York, Missouri, Massachusetts, Connecticut and IL have begun investigations, and the city of Chicago and Cook County have filed a lawsuit.
"We have seen no evidence of fraud or misuse tied to the incident", Uber said.
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