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An Uber user opens the app on a smartphone. Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

Uber paid a 20-year-old man in Florida $100,000 to destroy data from 57 million passengers and 600,000 drivers that he'd stolen in a 2016 breach, Reuters reports, citing sources familiar with the events. Reuters was unable to establish the identity of the hacker.

The backdrop: On Nov. 21, Uber announced that it had paid a hacker to delete stolen data, but did not specify who was paid, or how. The man was paid through a "bug bounty" program companies use to pay hackers to test their software for vulnerabilities, although it appears that the hacker stole the information first and was then retroactively entered into the bug bounty.

It's still not clear who made the decision to pay the hacker and keep the breach quiet. Then-CEO Travis Kalanick is said to have known about the data breach and the payment to the hacker in November 2016, as did chief security officer Joe Sullivan (who was fired last month, following an investigation that first alerted Uber's board to the hack).

Go deeper

3 mins ago - Health

A safe, sane survival guide

Photo: Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We all know, it’s getting worse.

Reality check: Here are a few things every one of us can do to stay safe and sane in coming months:

Biden’s nightmare debut

President-elect Biden speaks in Wilmington on Nov. 24. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

A dim, gloomy scene seems increasingly set for Joe Biden's debut as president.

The state of play: He'll address — virtually — a virus-weary nation, with record-high daily coronavirus deaths, a flu season near its peak, restaurants and small businesses shuttered by wintertime sickness and spread.

Using apps to prevent deadly police encounters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mobile phone apps are evolving in ways that can stop rather than simply document deadly police encounters with people of color — including notifying family and lawyers about potential violations in real time.

Why it matters: As states and cities face pressure to reform excessive force policies, apps that monitor police are becoming more interactive, gathering evidence against rogue officers as well as posting social media videos to shame the agencies.