After it was reported that the company paid hackers to delete the data they had stolen and remain quiet, The Associated Press’ Tom Krisher and Barbara Ortutay wrote that users will begin to flee to other services, such as Lyft.
While riders have left in the past in light of Uber’s controversies regarding sexual harassment, many stayed because of Uber’s convenience. However, the fear of having their data exposed to hackers may prompt another exodus. And this time, the company may have a hard time recovering.
Krisher and Ortutay both said that the data breach, along with the fact the company paid hackers to stay quiet, may prompt the government to launch probes into the matter.
With Lyft already being the most trusted ride-sharing app in the market, Uber may be hit once again as it struggles to explain why it paid hackers to stay quiet about the breach instead of warning customers about the incident.
On top of the data breach, the company was also fined $8.9 million by the state of Colorado for letting employees with serious criminal or motor vehicle-related offenses join the company as drivers.
Uber executives may believe they will be able to keep users loyal to the brand after this breach, but ever since the debate revolving around privacy in the era of the internet was ignited by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the public has been much more concerned about how tech firms handle their personal information. As a result, it’s unlikely that they will completely ignore Uber’s latest misbehavior.