Transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber operate in a highly regulated sector. The scope of our local regulators varies greatly depending on the market where we operate. In certain markets, for example, public utilities commissions regulate both TNCs and offline services like electricity, telecom, and water. They are empowered by law to require rideshare platform companies to provide information about trips, trip requests, pickup and dropoff areas, fares, vehicles, and drivers in their jurisdictions for a given time period. There is a risk that information such as pickup and dropoff locations may allow government agencies—or anyone else who obtains this information—to identify individual riders by associating the data with publicly available records. That is why we’ve listed the jurisdictions in the US and Canada that collect directly identifiable driver information and/or precise trip location information.
For each requirement, we work closely with the local authority to understand the legal basis for their request and determine which data is most useful and necessary, taking care to minimize the amount of information that could potentially identify an individual. Over the past few years, we’ve also developed aggregation methods that help protect privacy while preserving the utility of trip-related data for public and planning uses. In some cases, authorities have accepted data that has been transformed using these methods and/or altered their requirements in recognition of the best practices with respect to data minimization and anonymization. However, as techniques to re-identify individuals with this type of data become more sophisticated and accessible, sharing data about individual trips or vehicle information may present a growing risk to the privacy of our users. We continue to seek ways to produce the insights cities need while preserving the privacy of our users.
2022 regulatory requests
The tables below list the jurisdictions in the US and Canada where regulators required data that directly or indirectly identifies users. Drivers were affected in all the listed jurisdictions; an asterisk (*) indicates that riders were additionally affected due to the required disclosure of precise trip information.
St. Paul, MN
Brant County, ON
New York City*
Niagara Region, ON
Frequently asked questions
- How do you determine what data to produce in response to these requests?
We produce information that we believe is most relevant to the request and ask that any overly broad requests be narrowed accordingly. In some cases, Uber has challenged overly broad requests in legal proceedings.
- Do regulators tell you why they need the information or what they do with it?
Not always. But we do ask for this information to assess whether data requests are limited to legitimate regulatory purposes.
- Do regulatory agencies disclose this information to other parties?
We strongly discourage the additional disclosure of any trip-related or personal data contained in our regulatory submissions. However, agencies may disregard our recommendations by making the data publicly available in open data portals, or when responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
- Do taxis have the same reporting requirements?
Only in some cases. Taxis are not always regulated by the same agencies or bound by the same regulations as Uber is. Depending on the location, the authorities and rules that apply to each type of company may vary.
- Why are state and local regulators separate from airport regulators in your report?
State and local regulators have very different objectives from airport authorities. State and local regulators, such as public utility commissions, are responsible for ensuring that certain companies operate in accordance with the applicable regulations, including those governing safety. Airport authorities often defer to state and/or local regulations but may require additional data in order to track and count the number of vehicles on their property.
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