The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the Uber data breach, which occurred in May 2014, and compromised the data of nearly 50,000 current and former drivers.
The criminal investigation will also examine whether any employees of the ride share company's competitor, Lyft, were involved in the intrusion, according to a Dec. 18 Reuters report.
An investigation conducted by Uber reportedly found an email address believed to be associated with the breach that could be traced to Lyft's technology chief, Chris Lambert.
Lambert's attorney, former federal prosecutor Miles Ehrlich, praised the DOJ investigation and denied the claims of his client's involvement in the breach and told Reuters “the benefit is that the culprit here is going to be identified - and that's going to remove Chris' name from any conversation about Uber's data breach.”
DOJ spokesman Abraham Simmons told Reuters that he could not confirm or deny whether the investigation would include a criminal probe. Lyft said it has not been contacted by the DOJ, U.S. Attorney or any other federal or state authority regarding the investigation, in a statement emailed Tuesday to SCMagazine.com.
"There is no evidence that any Lyft employee, including Chris, downloaded the Uber driver information or database, or had anything to do with Uber's May 2014 data breach,” the statement said.
Uber was contacted, but declined to comment for this story.