The Uber mobile application which allows smart phone users to travel to another location by an accredited driver has revolutionized transport and caused a great deal of anger from taxi drivers. These people feel they can’t earn a living due to the huge taxi license expense and lower fees consumers face when using Uber. Clearly, Uber has modernized the taxi system for the interconnected world and offered consumers an additional choice. Recently, the company publicly released a transparency report which discloses how much information is shared with authorities. The data shows Uber shared information on 13 million users including passengers and drivers with the US government. The majority of these requests stem from U.S. transportation regulators. Once the findings were unveiled, Uber released a statement on their thoughts about data requests which reads:
“Regulators will always need some amount of data to be effective, just like law enforcement. But in many cases they send blanket requests without explaining why the information is needed, or how it will be used,”
“And while this kind of trip data doesn’t include personal information, it can reveal patterns of behavior—and is more than regulators need to do their jobs.”
“We hope our Transparency Report will lead to a public debate about the types and amounts of information regulated services should be required to provide to their regulators, and under what circumstances,”
Rightfully so, Uber believes the huge scale of these requests isn’t right and it does seem like interference from government bodies. Personal information should be protected if you’re using a commercial service. There’s no reason for the government to get involved and it looks like all they want to do is monitor the behaviour of its citizens. Hopefully, transparency reports like this can help raise the issue of privacy and how many requests are made by government authorities.