Have you ever taken an Uber ride in the US? If you have, chances are that your details might have been forwarded on to a law enforcement agency or US regulators.
The taxi-hailing app platform released its first ever transparency report, and in it the company reveals that it had to send the details of almost 12 million passengers and almost 600 000 drivers to regulators in the US. It also sent the details of almost two million riders’ to airport authorities.
“Regulated transportation companies are required by law to provide certain information about their operations to local regulatory agencies,” Uber explained. “These agencies may request information about trips, trip requests, pickup and drop-off areas, fares, vehicles, and drivers in their jurisdictions for a given time period.”
Furthermore, the details of only 408 riders were requested by law enforcement authorities.
“During a criminal investigation, law enforcement agencies may ask us for information about riders or drivers that is relevant to the investigation,” Uber said.
It was quick to add however, that on some occasions it will require a subpoena, court order, or search warrant before providing different types of information.
Uber stated that the bulk of requests from law enforcement agencies are related to fraud investigations or the use of stolen credit cards.
To that degree, it is also good to know that Uber hasn’t given any lifts to potential national security threats, as it said that it hasn’t had to provide information under the provisions of the US national security statutes.
Since the transparency report relates to US requests only, there are no details on whether Uber in South Africa had to hand over similar data to South African authorities.