Uber: Authorities’ Requests For User Data Have Spiked 27 Pct. YOY

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Ride-hailing company Uber has revealed in its transparency report that it has received an increased number of requests for data information from the U.S. government, according to a report by TechCrunch

The company also said it has gotten increased requests from Canada. The company said requests were up 27 percent in 2018, as opposed to a year earlier. Uber said the increased number of requests was due to not only its company growth but a “rising interest” from governments to look at its customer data.

Uber said it got 3,825 requests for 21,913 users from the U.S., and the company said it handed over data in 72 percent of cases. That number is higher than the previous year, which was 2,940 demands for 17,181 user accounts. The company’s compliance rate was higher that year, at 73 percent.

As for Canadian government requests, the company got 161 demands for about 593 accounts.

The company said the requests, largely from law enforcement authorities, pose a challenge. 

“Our responsibility to preserve consumer privacy while meeting regulatory and public safety obligations will become increasingly complex and challenging as we field a growing number of government requests for data every year,” said Uttara Sivaram, global privacy and security public policy manager at Uber.

Uber said it provided information on 34 million users to U.S. regulators and 1.8 million users to Canadian regulators. Uber also disclosed that the information handed over to regulators was “bespoke legal and regulatory requirements to which we are subject,” meaning the information could include where people are picked up and where they are dropped off, as well as monetary information like fares and data that could potentially “identify individual riders.”

Other tech companies, like Apple and Amazon, have also reported a rise in requests from the government in terms of data requests.

Uber also said that despite the rise in requests from law enforcement, it “has not received a national security request.”  



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