Uber’s scooter data defiance

In light of the strategic moves being made towards low carbon mobility provision in the UK, stakeholders on this side of the Atlantic would be well advised to keep an eye on developments in Los Angeles.

LA’s authorities require access to real-time mobility data as part of the city’s bike and scooter rental licensing conditions. Uber is refusing to comply on the basis of privacy concerns, and this has led to the temporary suspension of Uber’s subsidiary’s licence to rent bikes and scooters to the public.

If this was in the UK, both the city and Uber would need to consider a range of data and consumer related legal issues before embarking on the sharing and use of this data: transparency, proportionality, data protection by design, data minimisation and so on. On a more practical level, we’d at the very least anticipate seeing published (probably stripped down or redacted) versions of data protection impact assessments outlining risks and risk mitigation measures.

One to watch!

We believe that [LA’s] requirements to share sensitive real-time location data compromises our customers’ expectations of data privacy and security,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “Independent privacy experts have clearly and repeatedly asserted that a customer’s geolocation is personally identifiable information.”