A man dressed up as the Statue of Liberty chats with others at Times Square in New York. Dozens of men and women earn their livelihood dressing up as cartoon characters and super heroes to pose with customers, mostly tourists, for tips. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
Cybersecurity
Uber hit by breach; driver data stolen

Uber said Friday that a database containing the names and drivers’ license numbers of 50,000 of its drivers was breached in May.

The ride-sharing service said it has notified the drivers and has not received reports of the information being misused. Uber said it will offer the affected drivers a one-year membership in Experian’s ProtectMyID Alert identity-theft-protection service.

The company said the breach affects drivers in multiple states, but involves only a “small percentage” of its current and former drivers.

Uber said it discovered a potential breach in September. It announced the events in a statement posted on its blog and described them as a one-time occurrence. The San Francisco company said it has changed the access protocols for its database to prevent similar breaches.

Uber is the latest company to report a data breach in recent months. Others include retailer Home Depot, health insurerAnthem and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

— Associated Press

White House drafts consumer privacy bill

The White House released draft legislation Friday that would give consumers more control over how the trail of data they leave behind them on the Internet is used, stored and sold.

The 24-page “discussion draft” on data privacy immediately sparked sharp reaction from the technology industry, which said the proposal would hurt innovation, and from privacy advocacy groups that said it did not go far enough.

The data privacy bill would codify a voluntary “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” that the White House created in 2012.

“Even though responsible companies provide us with tools to control privacy settings and decide how our personal information is used, too many Americans still feel they have lost control over their data,” the White House said in a statement.

The bill would allow industries to develop codes of conduct, overseen by the Federal Trade Commission. The codes would provide “safe harbor” to companies abiding by them.

The FTC would have the authority to enforce the law and could seek fines of up to $25 million or injunctions for infractions. State attorneys general also could enforce the law in some cases.

The Center for Digital Democracy, a consumer privacy organization, called the bill “a serious setback for privacy” because it relies on industry-created codes.

— Reuters

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