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Keep safety in mind with taking an Uber or Lyft

Monday, April 22, 2019

Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes is urging fellow Utahns to be alert when ordering and taking a rideshare like Uber and Lyft.  This safety reminder comes after the shocking news of a South Carolina college student who was killed after getting into a car she thought was an Uber.

“That case is simply horrifying,” Attorney General Reyes said. “But I believe the tragic death of Samantha Josephson is a reminder to all of us to be fully aware when we use Uber or Lyft.”

The Attorney General adds: “These safety guidelines are a good reminder to everyone. We all need to trust that the ride we’re getting is with a legitimate driver, not a potentially dangerous stranger.”

Law enforcement confirms that such cases are relatively rare, and there are thousands of Utahns who use ride share companies like Uber and Lyft every day without problems.  But individuals can be extremely vulnerable when riding in a strangers’ vehicle, and Attorney General Reyes believes it is wise to review the Uber and Lyft safety guidelines to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.   

  • Check for a matching license plate number: Match the license plate with the one that comes up in the app before you get in to ensure you are getting in the right vehicle.
  • Before you get in: Ask the driver who he or she is there to pick up. Since the app provides the driver with your name, they should be able to answer.
  • Use caution: Uber and Lyft rides can only be requested through the app, so never get in a car with a driver who claims to be with Uber and offers a ride.
  • Sit in the backseat: If you’re riding alone, this ensures you can safely exit on either side of the vehicle to avoid moving traffic, and it gives you and your driver some personal space.
  • Wear a seat belt: The Centers for Disease Control reports that seatbelt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries related to car accidents.
  • Keep your valuables close: Per the ride share’s terms of service, the companies are not responsible for personal belongings left in the car by drivers or riders, and there’s no reimbursement for those items.
  • Let a friend know: During your ride, tap “Share status” in the app to share your driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with a friend or family member. They can track your trip and see your ETA without downloading the apps.

Don’t share too much info: There’s no need to share your phone number or other contact.

Photo by Victor Xok

Uber to pay $148 million in multi-state settlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2018

 

UBER AGREES TO PAY $148 MILLION IN MULTI-STATE SETTLEMENT
Uber agrees to strengthen security practices after data breach

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Attorney General Sean Reyes and Utah Department of Commerce Executive Director Francine Giani jointly announced that Utah would receive nearly $900,000 from Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) in a settlement agreement over a one-year delay in reporting a data breach to affected drivers. Uber will pay Utah, the other 49 states, and the District of Columbia a total of $148 million in addition to strengthening its corporate governance and data security practices to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Uber learned in November 2016 that hackers gained access to personal information involving the ride-sharer’s drivers, including drivers’ license information.  The data breach involved approximately 600,000 drivers nationwide, about 2,500 from Utah. Uber tracked down the hackers and obtained assurances that the hackers deleted the information. Utah’s law requires Uber to notify affected Utah residents, but Uber failed to report the breach until November 2017.

Attorney General Reyes stated, “I’m a fan of Uber, but that doesn’t keep us from doing our job. Protecting Utahns, their data, and identities is one of the top priorities of my office. Working with the Utah Department of Commerce and colleagues from other states, we were able to achieve a fair resolution without protracted litigation.” Deputy Attorney General David Sonnenreich added, “prompt reporting of data breaches is important so that victims have the information they need to better protect themselves from identity theft.” 

“Sadly data breaches have become a constant headline in our highly connected lives,” said Francine Giani, Executive Director for the Utah Department of Commerce. “We hope Uber’s case sends a message to the business community to be swift in alerting the public when consumer information is compromised.  The Department of Commerce is grateful for the partnership with the Attorney Generals’ Office in settling Utah’s claim.”

The settlement requires Uber to: 1) comply with Utah data breach and consumer protection law about Utah residents’ personal information and notifications in the event of a data breach; 2) take precautions to protect any user data Uber stores on third-party platforms outside of Uber; 3) use strong password policies for its employees to gain access to the Uber network; 4) develop and implement a strong data security policy for all data that Uber collects about its users, assess potential risks to the security of the data, and implement additional security measures beyond what Uber is doing to protect the data; 5) hire an outside qualified party to assess Uber’s data security efforts on a regular basis and draft a report with recommended security improvements, and 6) develop and implement a corporate integrity program to ensure that ethics concerns brought by Uber employees about other employees will be heard.

Utah joins the other 49 states and the District of Columbia in this multistate agreement with Uber.

# # #

NOTES:

  1. You can find a copy of the Complaint, Proposed Judgment, and additional court documents here:
    https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2018-09-26-Uber-Complaint-Utah.pdf
    https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2018-09-26-Uber-Summons-Utah.pdf
    https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2018-09-26-Uber-Acceptance-of-Service-Stratford-Utah.pdf
    https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2018-09-26-Uber-UTAH-Proposed-Judgment.pdf

 

Photo by Antonio DiCaterina

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