AB 886 (Chau) Protects Uber Passenger Privacy
April 16 press conference will be at Noon in Room 317 of the state Capitol
Contact: Richard Holober / Brian Taylor
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill 886 (Chau, D-Monterey Park) will protect the sensitive personal information and credit card records of passengers using transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber. The Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee will hear AB 886 on Monday April 20. The Consumer Federation of California is the sponsor of AB 886.
AB 886 addresses the track record of privacy abuse by Uber, a corporation valued at $41 billion, and the largest TNC in an industry that also includes Lyft and Sidecar.
In recent months, a journalist wrote of Uber’s New York manager confronting her with a log of her Uber rides that he had accessed without her consent. A job applicant reported that Uber granted him several hours of full access to passenger records on a company computer. He looked at the travel records of politicians’ families, leading to speculation in The Washington Post that hostile powers could hack Uber’s records to spy on government officials and others.
Fortune magazine last month reported that hackers had obtained account records of thousands of Uber users and offered them for sale on “dark” websites visited by criminals.
AB 886 will establish consumer privacy rights that apply to all TNCs and to smartphone apps used to hail taxicabs. Specifically, the bill:
- Prohibits requesting, requiring or disclosing personally identifiable passenger data including names, email addresses, phone numbers, location and trip data, and credit card information, except to complete a consumer-initiated transaction or to combat fraud or other crime
- Allows a customer to cancel or terminate an account with a TNC, which requires the TNC to destroy any personally identifiable information associated with that account
“Limiting the data collected by ridesharing mobile applications does not reduce the functionality and availability to consumers that use and love them,” said Assembly Member Ed Chau (D- Monterey Park). “On the contrary, this legislation is not about limiting the consumer, it is about giving the consumer ownership of their privacy, which can be the subject of abuse under certain circumstances. It’s time to put the consumer in the driver seat when it comes to who controls their personal information instead of having them take a backseat!”
Since 1960, the nonprofit Consumer Federation of California has been a powerful voice for consumer rights.