A proposed class action lawsuit challenging Uber’s handling of a data breach has been sent to arbitration.
According to U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, both riders and drivers signed an arbitration agreement with Uber when they agreed to use the ride service, and that agreement still holds up.
This means that, under the judge’s decision, consumers will have to “resolve disputes with Uber on an individual basis through final and binding arbitration,” per the terms of the agreement, and not through a class action lawsuit.
The judge also determined that similar arbitration agreements made between drivers and Uber subsidiary Raiser LLC were also valid. According to the judge, when the two drivers agreed to drive for Uber, they had entered into agreements with Rasier LLC that required disputes to be handled through arbitration and not through courts.
The judge found that the two named plaintiffs who were drivers and had signed the Raiser LLC arbitration agreement did have the opportunity to opt out from the arbitration agreement. However, the judge says that the drivers did not choose to opt out, and so are bound by the arbitration agreement.
The drivers and consumers claimed that the agreement was blocked by smartphone screens and was, as a result, unclear. The judge was not persuaded by this attempt to show the the arbitration agreement was invalid.
Judge Gutierrez has not entirely dismissed the Uber data breach class action lawsuit, but has stayed the case until the arbitration around the issues has been finished.
The Uber data breach class action lawsuit was filed in November 2017 by drivers and riders who claimed that Uber responded inappropriately to a data breach that exposed the personal information of both drivers and riders.
The Uber data breach class action lawsuit alleges that the ride sharing company suffered a data breach in October 2016 that exposed the personal information of 57 million people.
According to the Uber class action lawsuit, Uber did not sufficiently protect its drivers’ and riders’ information. Allegedly, the company could have implemented more effective security systems but failed to do so. According to the drivers and riders, Uber’s negligence exposed users’ personal information.
Additionally, the Uber data class action lawsuit says that Uber did not respond well after the data breach. According to the data breach claims, Uber did not inform affected individuals for more than a year after the data breach occurred, which prevented affected individuals from taking action to protect their information.
The drivers and riders point to the fact that Uber paid the hackers a ransom of $100,000 “in exchange for their silence” and to ensure that the hackers would delete the data. According to the drivers and riders, Uber did this without telling the public about it.
Have you entered into an arbitration agreement without realizing it? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
The drivers and riders are represented by Patrice L. Bishop, Howard Longman, and Melissa R. Emert of Stull Stull & Brody.
The Uber Data Breach Class Action Lawsuit is Benjamin Heller, et al. v. Rasier LLC, et al., Case No. 2:17-cv-08545, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
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