Sectors

Uber Received Hundreds of Data Request on Its Riders and Users From US Law Enforcements and Regulators

April 13
7:00 AM 2016

In its first transparency report, ride-hailing service Uber revealed that the company has received hundreds of information requests from various US law enforcement agencies and regulators. Most of the requests from law enforcement agencies were related to investigations of crime including fraud, theft, or assault.

According to the report, Uber received more than 415 data requests on its riders and drivers between July and December 2015. Furthermore, the report elaborated that the company was able to provide data in nearly 85 percent of the cases, revealing information on more than 12 million riders and drivers to different US regulators, as reported by Reuters. Uber had also provided information on 469 users to state and federal law agencies.

Of all the information requests issued by agencies or regulators, a large percentage of them were regarding investigations of fraud or stolen credit cards. In the report, the company said that each request was first reviewed to ensure legal requirements. After conducting reviews, a team will decide whether to comply, reject, or limit its scope.

Uber reported that it "fully complied" with almost 32 percent of the overall number of requests. They "partially complied" with over 52 percent of the requests, and the remaining 15 percent were either rejected or being withdrawn by the law enforcements, as noted by The Verge. "Among other things, requests must be narrowly tailored to a legitimate law enforcement need; we object to overly broad, vague or unreasonable requests," the report explained.

According to The Guardian, the company claimed that the amount of data request from US law enforcement agencies and regulators are too much. Also, the practice of handing data to regulators, enabling them to monitor rides and drivers could be raising privacy issues for the service's users, as well as competitive concerns for the company itself.

The company also complained that many of the data requests from agencies and regulators are sent without ample explanations on why the information is needed, or how it will be used. Regulators argued that they collect such data to ensure transportation companies properly serve the public. Law enforcements, on the other hand, claimed to use the information to assist criminal investigations.

Ride-hailing service Uber revealed in its first transparency report that the company has received more than 415 requests for data from US law enforcements and agencies and regulators in the last six months of 2015. The company said that it has provided data for the majority of the requests, whether fully or limited. The data were reportedly used to assist investigations or monitor public serving.  

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