• 04.12.16

Uber says government agencies have collected data on more than 11 million of its passengers

In its first-ever transparency report, the ride-hailing app says that the data requests from state and local agencies in the last six months of 2015 also affected more than half a million drivers, reports the Guardian. Uber says it received 309 requests for rider information and 205 for drivers from U.S. law enforcement agencies in the last six months of 2015, most of which related to criminal investigations. In response, Uber says it “fully complied” with close to 32% of those requests, “partially complied” with over 52%, “and either came up with no information or the request was withdrawn by law enforcement with 15%,” reports The Verge

It also got 90 search warrants, 30 emergency requests and 28 court orders during that time. Notably, the government probes did not seem to relate to national security or foreign intelligence, since Uber did not receive any National Security Letters or FISA court orders.

Per a blog post on its site, Uber expressed its concern about the breadth of the government’s collection of data on that many of its customers and drivers:

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. 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. It’s why Uber frequently tries to narrow the scope of these demands, though our efforts are typically rebuffed.