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London Judge Reinstates Uber License

London Judge Reinstates Uber License

A London judge reinstated Uber Technologies Inc.'s license to operate on Monday (Sept. 28), ending a 10-month fight between the ride-hailing company and regulators, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“This decision is a recognition of Uber’s commitment to safety,” the company said.

Shortly after entering the London market, Uber first lost its license in 2017 when the Transport for London (TfL), the city’s transportation watchdog, accused the company of safety and regulatory shortfalls. 

Uber denied the allegations and was granted two extensions as the company improved its service. But last fall, TfL cited Uber again, ruling that it was unfit to hold a license, and suspended the company’s operations after finding widespread instances of unauthorized drivers using the ride-hailing app to pick up customers.

Uber said at the time it had fixed the problem. But TfL said they wanted assurance there weren’t other software issues. Uber appealed the decision and was allowed to keep its drivers on London’s streets during the process.

On Monday (Sept. 28), a judge ruled that Uber is “fit and proper” to hold a license, TfL told the newspaper. 

Since Uber’s first suspension, Lyft, its chief competitor, has talked with TfL and City Hall officials to bring its service to London. Lyft still does not offer ride-hailing in the city.

Uber’s appeal to resume driving on London’s streets came after a group of Uber drivers in England filed suit against the company in July for its alleged failure to provide access to data and an explanation of algorithmic management.

The App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU), a U.K.-based group, filed a lawsuit against Uber in the District Court of Amsterdam, where Uber’s European headquarters is located. The 10-page complaint said that by not providing the information, Uber is in violation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which regulates privacy protection in the 28-nation bloc. 

Drivers from London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow are demanding the right for their data to be sent directly to their union for purposes of collective bargaining. They are asking the court to order Uber to comply with the data protection law or be fined 10,000 euros ($11,443) for each day it continues to violate the law.

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