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Uber issues first transparency report

BBC News BBC News 13/04/2016
Uber logo on car © AP Uber logo on car

In its first transparency report, ride-sharing firm Uber has revealed that it provided information on more than 12 million passengers and drivers between July and December last year.

The vast majority of this was shared with US regulators such as the California Public Utilities Commission.

Such requests ranged in scope - from data about number of trips to specific GPS co-ordinates for drops-offs.

It received 613 requests from law enforcement agencies.

Four hundred and eight of these were for riders and 205 for drivers, with many of the requests related to fraud or credit card theft.

Lots of technology companies, including Google, Twitter and Facebook, release transparency reports but most concentrate on what they share with law enforcement agencies.

Uber, which has had a controversial relationship with US regulators, was keen to point out the amount of data requested from such agencies.

"The report shows the scale of the regulatory requests Uber received: 33 in the last six months of 2015 involving trip data for more than 12 million drivers and riders," it said in an introduction to the report

"Of course 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," it added.

It negotiated the amount of information it shared in 42% of the cases.

Uber, which is valued at $62.5bn, also received 34 requests from airport authorities, it said.

The company also published a statement known as a warrant canary, saying that it had not received any National Security letters or Fisa (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court orders, which relate to national security or foreign intelligence.

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