Our guidelines were developed to help make every experience feel safe, respectful and positive. They apply to everyone who uses Uber’s platform (“Uber Marketplace Platform”), including but not limited to drivers, riders, delivery partners, Uber Eats users, merchants, and businesses. It also includes interactions you may have with Uber employees and contractors, including at Greenlight Hubs, through online support systems or over the phone.* And, in some instances, our guidelines apply to conduct outside the Uber Marketplace Platform that we become aware of, including but not limited to information from other platforms, when such conduct may threaten the safety of the Uber Marketplace Platform.
Thank you for joining us in supporting and safeguarding a welcoming environment.
The guidelines below help explain some of the specific kinds of positive community engagement on the Uber Marketplace Platform, as well as the behaviors or circumstances that may cause you to lose access to the Uber Marketplace Platform. There will always be unforeseen events that may ultimately lead to you losing access to the Uber Marketplace Platform and services, but the following guidelines—which we’ll update regularly—provide the basis for behavior we expect from all in the Uber community. Not following any one of our guidelines can constitute a material breach or violation of the terms of your agreement with Uber and may result in the loss of access to part or all of the Uber Marketplace Platform.
Please take a moment to read them.
Everyone who signs up for an Uber account is required to follow Uber’s Community Guidelines. They reflect the following 3 pillars and the standards in each of these sections.
Our community is remarkably diverse and, chances are, you will encounter people who might not look like you or share your beliefs. The guidelines in this section help to foster positive interactions during every experience.
We’re hard at work every day to help create safer experiences for everyone. Your safety drives us. That’s why these standards were written. In addition to following these general Uber Community Guidelines, you can also find more standards just for Uber Eats under “Additional guidelines for Uber Eats merchants and delivery partners” below.
We’re committed to following all applicable laws and earning your trust, and we expect everyone who uses the Uber Marketplace Platform to do their part and adhere to relevant laws and regulations, as well as airport rules and regulations where applicable.
If something happens, whether it’s good or bad, we make it easy for you to tell us directly in the app or by contacting the Uber Support team. Our team is continually improving our standards and policies, and your feedback is important so that we can take appropriate action and to keep our standards relevant as our technology evolves.
Treat everyone in the Uber community as you would like to be treated yourself: with respect. The actions you take while using the Uber Marketplace Platform can have a big impact on the safety and comfort of others. Courtesy matters. That’s why you are expected to exercise good judgment and behave decently towards other people when using the Uber Marketplace Platform and interacting with others in the Uber community—just as you would in any public place.
For example, always try to be on time for your ride or to pick up your delivery. It’s also common courtesy not to shout, swear or slam doors. And by tidying up after yourself—whether it’s taking your trash home or cleaning up a spilled drink—you’ll help ensure that everyone has a pleasant ride. Most importantly, remember that when you interact with others in the Uber community, you may meet people who may look different from you or think differently than you. Please respect those differences. We believe that everyone should feel supported and welcomed when interacting with others in the Uber community. That’s why we’ve created standards on physical contact, sexual assault and misconduct, threatening and rude behavior, post-trip contact, discrimination, and property damage.
Don’t touch strangers or anyone you just met while using the Uber Marketplace Platform. Limited exceptions are permitted for people needing or requesting physical assistance (for example, riders using Uber Assist who may need help getting into and out of the vehicle) or when limited physical contact is unavoidable (such as during certain Moto rides). Hurting or intending to hurt anyone is never allowed.
We all value our personal space and privacy. It’s okay to chat with other people. But don’t comment on someone’s appearance or ask whether they are single. Sexual assault and sexual misconduct of any kind is prohibited. Sexual assault and misconduct refers to sexual contact or behavior without explicit consent of the other person.
Personal space and privacy should be respected. The following list provides examples of inappropriate conduct, but is not exhaustive.
- Do not ask personal questions (for example, about relationship status or sexual orientation)
- Do not comment on appearance (for example, derogatory or “complimentary” comments)
- Do not make explicit comments or gestures (for example, slurs, or graphic or suggestive messages)
- Do not flirt (for example, nonverbal, suggestive flirting, or being too physically close)
- Do not display indecent material (for example, sexually suggestive objects or pictures)
- Uber has a no-sex rule regardless of whether you know the person or they give you their consent
Aggressive, confrontational, or harassing behavior is not allowed. Don’t use language or make gestures that could be disrespectful, threatening or inappropriate. For example, don’t share graphic images (such as those that are sexually explicit or depict physical violence) with others in the Uber community; this includes unsolicited sharing of such images through Uber’s online support systems or in connection with an Uber Marketplace Platform experience. It is also a good idea to stay away from personal topics that can potentially be divisive, like religion and political beliefs.
Contact should end when the trip or delivery is complete, unless it’s to return a lost item. Unwanted contact can be seen as harassment and includes, for example, texting, calling, social media contact, visiting, or trying to visit someone in person after a trip or delivery has been completed is not allowed. Do not share any unnecessary contact information.
You should always feel safe and welcome. That’s why we don’t tolerate discriminatory conduct or behavior, including toward the Uber Support team or at Greenlight Hubs. Do not discriminate against someone based on traits such as their age, color, disability, gender identity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected under relevant law.
For example, it is unacceptable to:
- Refuse to provide services based on characteristics like a person’s age (except for minors as described below), color, disability, gender identity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected under relevant law. Applicable laws in certain jurisdictions may require and/or allow the provision of services by and for the benefit of a specific category of persons. In such jurisdictions, services as required or allowed by these laws and the relevant applicable terms are permissible under these guidelines.
- Rate another user—whether drivers, riders, delivery partners, Uber Eats users, merchants, restaurants, or businesses—based on these traits.
- Discriminate on the basis of a rider’s destination or an Uber Eats user’s delivery location. We understand how important it is to fit driving or delivering around your life, rather than the other way around. It is not a violation of these guidelines to decline a trip or delivery because it does not work for you. But intentionally refusing or canceling requests, or using features on the Uber Marketplace Platform to avoid receiving trip or delivery requests, solely for the purpose of (i) avoiding a particular neighborhood due to the characteristics of the people or businesses that are located in that area or (ii) avoiding a specific payment method, is not allowed.
You can learn more about Uber’s Non-Discrimination policy here.
We also want to help increase the transport options for people with disabilities. That’s why we have information available for drivers, riders, and Uber Eats users on this topic. You can go here to learn more about Uber’s commitment to accessibility. Drivers using the Uber Marketplace Platform must comply with all relevant laws governing the transportation of riders with disabilities, including transporting service animals and assistive devices (such as wheelchairs).
Damaging property is never allowed. Some examples include damaging the car, or other mode of transportation requested through the Uber Marketplace Platform, breaking or vandalizing a phone or tablet, intentionally spilling food or drink, smoking in a car, damaging a merchant’s premises, or vomiting due to excessive alcohol consumption or otherwise. If you damage property, you’re responsible for the cost of cleaning and repair fees, outside of normal wear and tear.
Everyone has a role to play in helping to create a safe environment. That’s why we have standards on account sharing, account holder age, and more.
Account sharing is not allowed. To use the Uber Marketplace Platform, you need to register and maintain an active account. Don’t let another person use your account, and never share your personal information used in connection with your account, including but not limited to username, password, or photos of yourself, with anyone else to access the Uber Marketplace Platform. For example, delivery people must complete all parts of the delivery themselves—including any handling after the order is picked up from the merchant up until final delivery to the Uber Eats user—with no exception.
In general, you must be 18 years or older to have an Uber account. This means that you must be at least 18 years old to ride unaccompanied in a vehicle. Account holders can't request a ride or delivery for someone under the age of 18 who will not be accompanied by either the account holder or another adult during the ride or when collecting the delivery. When ordering food, children are also not allowed to use an adult’s Uber Eats account by themselves. These age limitations apply unless our local guidelines, terms, or other policies say otherwise. Applicable laws in certain jurisdictions may allow the provision of services for the benefit of people under 18, subject to their legal guardian(s) consent. In such jurisdictions, services as allowed by these laws and the relevant applicable terms are permissible under these guidelines.
When driving with Uber, no one other than the driver, the requesting rider, and the rider's guests should be in the vehicle. These guidelines apply unless our local guidelines, terms, or other policies say otherwise. When riding with Uber, the account holder is responsible for the behavior of their entire party. If you request a ride or a delivery for another adult, you’re held responsible for their behavior during their trip or delivery.
For an easy pickup or delivery, the Uber Marketplace Platform gives riders and Uber Eats users identifying information about drivers and delivery partners and their vehicles, including their license plate number, vehicle make and model, profile picture, and name. Inaccurate or outdated information creates confusion among riders and Uber Eats users and can diminish their experience using the Uber Marketplace Platform.
Drivers and delivery partners must take trips and deliveries using only approved vehicles. To provide accurate information, let us know your vehicle information and provide any updates to your documentation that may become invalid, like a driver’s license that’s about to expire.
Seat belt use can be the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries related to vehicle crashes. Every delivery partner using a vehicle, every driver, and every rider—including those in the back seat—should always buckle up. Riders should request a vehicle that has enough seat belts for everyone in their party and not travel in large groups that exceed the number of seat belts in the vehicle. Drivers can decline a ride if there are not enough seat belts in their vehicle for every passenger.
For your safety, when riding a bike, motorcycle, or scooter, find a helmet that fits well. Helmets can help protect you when worn according to the manufacturer’s instructions, such as sitting low on your forehead and fitting snugly under your chin.
Drivers may choose to install and use a dashcam, which can be used to record rides and provide evidence to Uber, law enforcement, or insurance companies in the event that something goes wrong on a ride. Please note the following:
- Riders entering a rideshare vehicle with a dashcam may be concerned about how the video, their image, or conversations captured by a dashcam will be used. In some locations, local laws and regulations require that a rider provide consent to being recorded. Please check your local laws to understand your rights and responsibilities.
Sharing or streaming a person’s image or audio or video recording on social media or in other digital or physical public locations is a violation of our Community Guidelines and may prompt further investigation by our safety team, which could lead to deactivation of the violator’s Uber account.
Being out on the road means doing your part to help keep yourself and others safe. This means keeping your eyes on the road and being well rested, so you can quickly react to any situation. We review reports of crashes and potentially unsafe driving behavior. Repeated reports of dangerous driving can lead to deactivation of a driver’s Uber account.
Pursuant to the terms of their agreement with Uber, drivers and delivery partners are expected to keep their vehicles maintained and in good operating condition, including but not limited to brakes, seat belts, and tires. This means maintaining their vehicle according to industry safety and maintenance standards, and monitoring for and repairing any parts that are recalled by the vehicle manufacturer.
Safe roadways require drivers to practice safe behavior, which includes looking out for all travelers, regardless of how they get around.
Uber may take additional measures to try to preserve the safety of our platform during public emergencies, including but not limited to natural disasters, public health emergencies, and public crisis situations.
For example, if Uber receives notice from a public health authority that someone using the Uber Marketplace Platform may present a potential for public harm, we may temporarily block the individual’s access until it is reasonably safe to allow the individual to resume using the Uber Marketplace Platform. Similarly, we may prevent individuals in an entire city or region from using part or all of the Uber Marketplace Platform or impose other requirements to comply with guidance from authorities during a time of public health emergency, natural disaster, or other public crisis situation, or when the continued availability of the Uber Marketplace Platform might present a danger.
In addition to following all of Uber’s Community Guidelines, the users of the Uber Eats platform must follow the standards below that apply to Uber Eats orders and deliveries.
Merchants are expected to meet all relevant licensing requirements and all other food laws and regulations—including food safety and hygiene regulations—plus industry best practices and Uber policies. Merchants must maintain valid licenses and/or permits where required by law.
Many prepared foods are perishable and can cause illness if not properly handled. Such foods can be potentially hazardous if not maintained under the proper time and temperature controls prior to pickup.
To help ensure that food reaches Uber Eats users safely, merchants are encouraged to seal packages in tamper-evident packaging ahead of delivery. Merchants are expected to act responsibly on information provided by Uber Eats users related to food allergies, intolerances, or other dietary restrictions and reject order requests with which they cannot comply.
Merchants may outline certain delivery guidelines that promote food safety, adhere to regulatory guidance, or accommodate Uber Eats user dietary restrictions. For example, merchants may notify a delivery partner to keep vegetarian and non-vegetarian food separate. Delivery partners should always take into consideration such guidelines from merchants.
A delivery partner using an insulated bag can make for a better Uber Eats user experience, but it isn’t required unless the delivery partner is delivering in a location where it’s required by law. Deliveries by bicycle may benefit from a more specialized bag to protect food from movement and weather conditions.
Delivery partners should deliver orders safely and in accordance with relevant safety standards. For example, they may not tamper with or open packaging during delivery.
Merchants and their staff are expected to exercise good judgment and behavior around delivery partners and make them feel welcome, just as they would with their in-person customers. They should also provide a safe area for order pickups; for example, merchants should work to prevent violent incidents on the merchant premises that might endanger delivery partners’ safety.
All orders that contain alcohol must comply with any applicable laws and restrictions on off-premise alcohol delivery and hours of service. Only Uber Eats users who are the legal age to buy alcohol or older, and not intoxicated, can order and receive alcohol deliveries where such deliveries are available. Uber Eats users will be asked to show government-issued photo IDs to verify age and identity when an alcohol delivery arrives. If the Uber Eats user does not have a valid government-issued photo ID, the alcohol portion of the order will not be able to be delivered and may be returned to the seller on the Uber Eats user’s behalf and at the Uber Eats user’s expense. Uber Eats users may not place an order that includes alcohol to be delivered to a public location where open containers are prohibited, or to any other areas where possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited by law.
It’s important for merchants to treat delivery partners and Uber Eats users with respect.
Merchants should be careful to fulfill and include the correct items in their user’s order. When an Uber Eats user does not receive items or receives missing or wrong items, it can lead to a poor experience. Long preparation times, long delivery partner handoff times (the amount of time it takes for the delivery partner to get in and out of the merchant’s location with the order, including wait time), low online time (a merchant’s online availability time), long delays before order acceptance, and high cancellation rates also create a negative experience for Uber Eats users and delivery partners.
If these metrics, or others, are significantly worse than the average for a merchant’s city, they may negatively impact other parties’ experiences with the Uber Eats platform, so a merchant’s metrics should be at least average for its city. If a merchant’s metrics are below the minimum standard, we will let them know.
Merchants may only offer for sale items expressly contemplated under their agreement with Uber. Most specially regulated or illicit items, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are not allowed to be offered on a merchant’s Uber Eats menu. Uber may remove from—or otherwise limit the merchant’s ability to post to—a merchant’s Uber Eats menu any items Uber deems prohibited or inappropriate.
We have standards based on applicable laws and regulations that everyone must follow. For example, using the Uber Marketplace Platform to commit any crime—such as transporting drugs, money laundering, commiting drug or human trafficking or sexually exploiting children—or to violate any other law is strictly prohibited.
Everyone is responsible for knowing and obeying all applicable laws, including airport rules and regulations when at the airport, and the rules of the road—including complying with traffic laws, signs, and signals—at all times when using the Uber Marketplace Platform.
All relevant licenses, permits and any other legal documents required of drivers and delivery partners must be kept up to date. For example, all drivers and delivery partners using a vehicle are required by law to maintain a valid driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle registration. We review reports of crashes or traffic citations that may have happened during a trip or delivery, and other reports, including but not limited to those that may indicate poor, unsafe, or distracted driving. Local rules about parking may limit where drivers and delivery partners can park their vehicle when picking up orders, making deliveries, or waiting for riders to arrive or to exit a vehicle. For example, stopping in bike lanes or blocking accessibility ramps may violate the law.
For riders and Uber Eats users, let your driver or delivery partner handle the driving. For example for riders, don’t touch the steering wheel, and don’t tamper with the gear shift or other knobs, buttons, or components that are used to operate a vehicle. For riders and Uber Eats users, don't ask a driver or delivery partner to speed or to make illegal stops, dropoffs, or maneuvers.
When riding or parking a bike or scooter, be mindful of local regulations and rules; you can check your city government’s website for applicable laws. Following local rules of the road usually requires you to yield to pedestrians, ride in the direction of traffic, signal if you’re planning to change direction, and come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs.
Drivers and riders should comply with applicable laws when traveling with infants and small children. Where use of a car seat is required by law, it’s the rider’s responsibility to provide and fit a suitable car seat, unless local guidelines, terms, or other policies say otherwise. Children should travel in the back seat when required by local law.
When picking up riders traveling with small children, drivers can give them extra time to properly install a car seat before driving off. If a rider doesn’t have the appropriate car seat, if a child does not appear to be within the height and weight safety requirements for the car seat, or if a driver otherwise feels that the child cannot be safely transported in the seat, the driver can cancel the ride.
Drivers using the app may not deny a ride to a rider with a service animal or assistive devices (such as a wheelchair or crutches) because of the service animal or assistive devices. Applicable laws generally prohibit drivers from denying service to riders because of their service animals or assistive devices, and from otherwise discriminating against riders with service animals or assistive devices. Knowingly refusing a rider a trip because of their service animal or assistive devices will result in losing access to the Uber Marketplace Platform.
You can learn more about our Service Animal and Assistive Device Policy here.
Drug use and open containers of alcohol are never allowed while using the Uber Marketplace Platform.
If you’re a driver or delivery partner, by law you cannot drive, bike, or deliver while intoxicated. The law prohibits driving or biking while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance that impairs your ability to safely operate a vehicle or bicycle. If you encounter a rider who is too drunk or rowdy, you have the right to decline the trip for your own safety.
If you’re a rider and you have reason to believe your driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, ask the driver to end the trip immediately. Then exit the vehicle and call your country’s emergency services line. Once you have left the vehicle, please also report your experience to Uber.
Riders and their guests, as well as drivers and delivery partners, are prohibited from carrying firearms while using the Uber Marketplace Platform, to the extent permitted by applicable law. You can learn more about our firearms prohibition policy here.
Deception can weaken trust and also be dangerous. Intentionally falsifying information or assuming someone else’s identity, for example when signing in or undergoing a security check, isn’t allowed. It is important to provide accurate information when reporting incidents, creating and accessing your Uber accounts, disputing charges or fees and requesting credits. Only request fees or refunds that you’re entitled to, and use offers and promotions only as intended. Don’t knowingly complete invalid transactions.
Fraudulent activity may also include, but not be limited to: deliberately increasing the time or distance of a trip or delivery for fraudulent purposes or otherwise; accepting trip, order, or delivery requests without the intention to complete, including provoking riders or Uber Eats users to cancel for fraudulent purposes; creating dummy accounts for fraudulent purposes; claiming fraudulent fees or charges, like false cleaning fees; intentionally requesting, accepting, or completing fraudulent or falsified trips or deliveries; claiming to complete a delivery without ever picking up the delivery item; picking up a delivery item but retaining all or a portion of the item, and not delivering the entire order; actions intended to disrupt or manipulate the normal functioning of the Uber Marketplace Platform, including manipulating the settings on a phone to prevent the normal functioning of the platform and the GPS system; abusing promotions and/or not using them for their intended purpose; disputing charges for fraudulent or illegitimate reasons; creating improper duplicate accounts; or falsifying documents, records, or other data for fraudulent purposes.
To enhance the safety of each experience, off-app pickups are prohibited. The law prohibits street hails while using the Uber Marketplace Platform, so never solicit or accept payment outside the Uber Marketplace Platform. For cash payments, riders and Uber Eats users should remember to bring the correct amount to cover the cost of the trip or delivery. Drivers and delivery partners should always pay Uber’s service fee on cash orders on time.
Never use Uber‘s trademark or intellectual property without permission. If it’s required under local law to display Uber-branded items, drivers and delivery partners should only use Uber-branded items that are obtained from Uber. Drivers and delivery partners should not display Uber-branded items when they are not accessing the platform. Drivers and delivery partners should also return Uber-branded items to Uber if they lose access to the platform. The use of unauthorized or third-party items—such as lights, placards, signs, or similar items bearing Uber’s name or trademark—may confuse riders or Uber Eats users.
If something happens, whether it’s good or bad, we make it easy for you to tell us. Our team is continuously improving our standards, and your feedback is important to keep our standards relevant as our technology evolves. Please rate your experience at the end of each trip or delivery. Honest feedback helps ensure that everyone is accountable for their behavior. This accountability helps create a respectful, safe environment. And if something happens—such as a traffic accident—and you want to report it, you can tap Help in the app or visit help.uber.com so that our Support team can follow up. In case of an emergency or if you find yourself in immediate danger, alert your local authorities or emergency services before notifying Uber.
Drivers, riders, delivery partners, Uber Eats users and merchants can give and receive ratings, as well as give feedback on how the trip or delivery went. This feedback system improves accountability and helps create a respectful, safe and transparent environment for everyone. Drivers and delivery partners can see their current rating in the app. Merchants can find their Uber Eats user and delivery partner rating by signing into Uber Eats Manager. Riders can see their rating displayed under their name by opening the app and touching the menu.
There is a minimum average rating in each city. This is because there may be cultural differences in the way people in different cities rate each other. Drivers, riders, delivery partners, or merchants that don’t meet the minimum average rating for their city may lose access to all or part of the Uber Marketplace Platform. If your rating is approaching this limit, we will let you know and may share information that may help you improve your rating.
If you’re looking to keep your average rating high, it’s helpful to be courteous and respectful to all people while using the Uber Marketplace Platform and interacting with others in the Uber community. Drivers and delivery partners using the Uber Marketplace Platform typically provide excellent service to their riders and Uber Eats users, and most riders, delivery partners, and Uber Eats users are courteous and respectful, so most trips and deliveries run smoothly. Contacting Support will not lead to an individual rating being removed. We know that sometimes a trip or delivery doesn’t go well—that’s why your rating is an average rating.
If you’re a delivery partner or driver and you don’t want to accept delivery or trip requests, you can just go offline or log off. If you’re a merchant, use the Pause New Orders feature or make specific items unavailable. This helps keep the system running smoothly for everyone.
For delivery partners, drivers, and merchants, if you consistently decline consecutive trip or order requests, our technology may assume you do not want to accept more trips or orders or have forgotten to log out, and you may be temporarily logged out. However, you are free to log back in at any time you wish to begin confirming availability for trips or orders again.
Losing access to the Uber Marketplace Platform may be disruptive to your life or to your business. That’s why we believe it is important to have clear standards that explain the circumstances in which you may lose access to the Uber Marketplace Platform. If you violate any terms of your contractual agreement with Uber, or any applicable terms or policies, including any one of these Community Guidelines or any additional policies or standards that are communicated by Uber to you from time to time, you can lose access to all or part of the Uber Marketplace Platform. If you have more than one Uber account, such as a rider account and a driver account, violating the Community Guidelines could also lead you to lose access to all Uber accounts. If you believe an error caused you to lose access to your account, you may contact the Uber Support team.
Uber receives feedback through a variety of channels, reviews reports submitted to our Support team that may violate our Community Guidelines, and may investigate through a specialized team. If we are made aware of potentially problematic behavior, we may contact you so we can look into it. We may, at our sole discretion, put a hold on your account or turn your account inactive until our review is complete.
Not following any one of our guidelines may result in the loss of access to all or part of the Uber Marketplace Platform. This can include reported violations of our Community Guidelines and certain actions you may take outside of the Uber Marketplace Platform, including but not limited to information from other platforms, if we determine that those actions threaten the safety of the Uber community, our employees, and contractors, or cause harm to Uber’s brand, reputation, or business. And if the issues raised are serious or a repeat report, or you refuse to cooperate, you may lose access to the Uber Marketplace Platform. Any behavior involving violence, sexual misconduct, harassment, fraud, or discrimination, or deceptive, illegal, or unsafe activity, while using the Uber Marketplace Platform can result in the immediate loss of access to the Uber Marketplace Platform. Additionally, when law enforcement is involved, we will cooperate with their investigation in accordance with our Law Enforcement Guidelines.
Many countries, cities, and airports regulate the provision of certain services, including ridesharing services, on the Uber Marketplace Platform. If we determine that your driver or delivery partner account is not in compliance with applicable regulatory requirements, we may be required to remove your access to the Uber Marketplace Platform.
Lastly, all drivers and delivery partners wanting to use the Uber Marketplace Platform undergo a screening process, including background checks. A driver or delivery partner will lose access to their Uber account(s) if a routine background check or other check uncovers a violation of Uber’s Community Guidelines or other criteria required by local regulators.
To read more about our Community Guidelines, go here.
*Note: Drivers and delivery partners are not agents (actual, ostensible, or otherwise) or employees of Uber. Drivers and delivery partners do not act pursuant to any authority (actual, apparent, or otherwise). They are independent third-party providers.