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Photo: Liu Guanguan/China News Service via Getty Images

A judge ordered Uber on Monday to pay a $59 million fine to California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and threatened to suspend its state permit to operate if the firm fails to do so within 30 days.

The big picture: The judge found the ride-hailing giant had failed to share data with the regulator following Uber's safety report last year, which revealed that U.S. users reported nearly 6,000 incidents of sexual assault and harassment on trips made in 2017 and 2018.

"Uber is wrong when it argues that compliance [with earlier rulings] will violate a sexual assault victim’s privacy that California law is designed to protect. Rather than casting itself in the role of a victim of regulatory overreach, it is Uber who is playing the part of the obstructionist who has prevented the commission from carrying out its regulatory, investigative and enforcement duties."
— CPUC Administrative Law Judge Robert Mason

What they're saying: "We opposed this shocking violation of privacy, alongside many victims' rights advocates," Uber spokesperson Hasbun said in a statement to outlets about the CPUC's initial request that the company release victims' full names and contact information, adding that the regulator had since "changed its tune."

  • "We can provide anonymized information — yet we are also subject to a $59 million fine for not complying with the very order the CPUC has fundamentally altered," Hasbun said.

Of note: The ruling came on the same day that Uber and other gig companies began rolling out new benefits to California drivers.

Read the judge's findings, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper

Aug 12, 2020 - Technology

EU-U.S. privacy rift leaves businesses in disarray

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Some businesses fear growing liability while others worry that small and mid-sized firms will get hurt as the U.S. and Europe begin work to replace Privacy Shield, the pact that let thousands of firms transfer data across the Atlantic without breaking EU privacy rules.

Why it matters: Without a replacement in place after the EU's high court struck Privacy Shield down last month, thousands of businesses will be stuck complying with an agreement that no longer applies in the EU while scrambling to figure out how to get data over from Europe without exposing themselves to legal risks.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
27 mins ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Red Sox strike out on deal to go public

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. has ended talks to sell a minority ownership stake to RedBall Acquisition, a SPAC formed by longtime baseball executive Billy Beane and investor Gerry Cardinale, Axios has learned from multiple sources. An alternative investment, structured more like private equity, remains possible.

Why it matters: Red Sox fans won't be able to buy stock in the team any time soon.