On September 5, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California held that a class action arising from a 2016 Uber Technologies Inc. (“Uber”) data breach must proceed to arbitration. The case was initially filed after a 2016 data breach that affected approximately 600,000 Uber drivers and 57 million Uber customers. Upon registration with Uber, the drivers and customers entered into a service agreement that contained an arbitration provision. Based on this provision, the defendants moved to compel arbitration. They argued that the provision’s express language delegated the threshold issue of whether the case should be arbitrated (also called an issue of “substantive arbitrability”) to an arbitrator, not to the court. The plaintiffs countered, arguing that the arbitration clause was both inapplicable to the 2016 data breach and unconscionable, and that Uber customers did not receive reasonable notice of the electronic terms agreement when they registered.
The court rejected each of the plaintiffs’ arguments. First, citing Mohammed v. Uber Techs., Inc., 848 F.3d 1201, 1209 (9th Cir. 2016), the court held that the agreement’s language “clearly and unmistakably” delegated to the arbitrator the threshold and substantive issue of whether the 2016 breach was one that should be arbitrated. Second, whether the arbitration provision was unconscionable was similarly a question of substantive arbitrability “expressly delegated to the arbitrator.” Third, the court noted that the plaintiffs offered no evidence of confusion or lack of notice, and that many other courts had found similar electronic notice to be reasonable.
The case has been stayed pending completion of the arbitration.