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Uber has admitted to a massive data breach that included the names, email addresses and phone number of some 57m passengers and drivers, the latest crisis for the troubled transportation company that has been trying to turn around its image.

The San Francisco based company said on Tuesday that it had asked for the resignation of its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, a former federal prosecutor and Facebook security czar, who was one of the most senior executives at the company.

Uber realized that its user information had been hacked in December 2016, but instead of notifying regulators or the people affected, it paid a $100,000 settlement to the hackers to get them to destroy the stolen information.

Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who took the helm at Uber in September, issued an apology and said he had started an investigation into the breach as soon as he learned about it.

“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” Mr Khosrowshahi wrote in a statement. “While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes. We are changing the way we do business,” he wrote.

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