Get ready. We may soon be taking a trip down memory lane for Uber, revisiting the era of co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick. That will come via the trial of the company’s former chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, on three counts of wire fraud as well as a count of obstruction of justice, among other charges. The charges relate to his alleged attempts in 2016 to cover up a major breach of Uber driver data. On Tuesday, a judge rejected Sullivan’s effort to have the wire fraud charges, added in a new indictment last December, dismissed. A trial could start as soon as September. Sullivan has pleaded not guilty.
The good news, for jurors and those following it, is that this trial isn’t likely to be as complicated as the proceedings against Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. That offered jurors a level of “scientific and financial detail” that made it hard to follow, as this Washington Post story recounts. The allegations in the Sullivan case are rather more concrete. According to the most recent indictment of Sullivan, as well as a Justice Department press release, Uber’s then-CSO kept a lid on the data breach by arranging to pay the hackers behind the breach $100,000 in bitcoin. In exchange they signed NDAs promising not to disclose that breach.