Tag Archives: Lyft

Uber Should Be Suspended In California And Fined $7.3 Million, Judge Says

by Laura J. Nelson, Andrea Chang and Paresh Dave, Los Angeles Times

Uber — plagued by problems with regulators, drivers and taxi unions around the world — took a big blow in its home state Wednesday when an administrative judge recommended that the ride-sharing giant be fined $7.3 million and be suspended from operating in California. In her decision, chief administrative law judge Karen V. Clopton of the California Public Utilities Commission contended that Uber has not complied with state laws designed to ensure that drivers are doling out rides fairly to all passengers. Read More ›

Ridesharing Drivers Often Stuck In Insurance Limbo

by Alice Holbrook, NerdWallet

Uber executives’ access to customer ride logs came under scrutiny last year, when a company manager referenced a reporter’s log during an interview. Some users were also disturbed by Uber’s use of ride logs to compile a study on customer hookups in 2012. Critics complain that the bill would make essential functions of TNCs, like using GPS to locate passengers, illegal. But [Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California] likens the regulations to medical privacy laws. “Even in a hospital, not just everyone is allowed to look at your medical records.” Read More ›

Privacy Getting Taken For A Ride

by Samantha Gallegos, Capitol Weekly

Sponsored by the Consumer Federation of California, a non-profit consumer-rights advocacy group, [Assembly Member Ed] Chau’s bill would set up privacy standards related to “personally identifiable data” that [Transportation Network Companies] — like Uber or Lyft — would be required to follow. Those standards don’t exist now, Chau said. “I guess you could say, well, protecting some personal data is better than protecting none,” said Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation. “Right now none is protected. And I don’t believe the flawed argument that Internet-based companies should have greater freedom than the other businesses who collect and share data.” Read More ›

California Bill Would Force Uber To Guard Passenger Privacy

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

Uber logo

A bill pending in Sacramento would force Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies to follow stricter privacy rules. AB886 specifies that the smartphone-ordered ride services cannot disclose any data on passengers except to combat fraud or other crimes. It also says the companies must destroy all personal information when customers cancel their accounts. “We want to put the consumers in the driver’s seat about who owns their data and personal information, instead of having them take a back seat,” said bill author Assemblyman Ed Chau. Read More ›

AB 886’s Privacy Protections For Uber Passengers Held Up

Using smartphone to hail a ride

Update 6/1/2015:  The deadline for bills to advance from committees to the Floor passed last week, forestalling any realistic chance of reviving AB 886 this session. The bill was defeated in the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee April 20. Committee Chair Anthony Rendon and Assembly Members Roger Hernandez, Miguel Santiago and Das … Read More ›

AB 886 Would Protect The Privacy Of Uber Passengers

uber user dials up a ride

Assembly Member Chau has pulled AB 886 from consideration. He and Consumer Federation of California are considering promising alternative strategies to protect the privacy of passengers using Uber and other so-called transportation network companies. The sensitive personal data collected by Uber, for example, includes name, address, bank account information, travel logs, as well as personal address books and online search records that it pulls from passenger smartphones. It’s becoming alarmingly common for corporations to “mine” such data and share – or sell – it to other businesses. Read More ›

Uber’s Business Model Could Change Your Work

by Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times

uber exec toys with car and cash

The rise of Uber-like jobs is the logical culmination of an economic and tech system that holds efficiency as its paramount virtue. … “Can you imagine if this turns into a Mechanical Turk economy, where everyone is doing piecework at all odd hours, and no one knows when the next job will come, and how much it will pay? What kind of private lives can we possibly have, what kind of relationships, what kind of families?” said Robert B. Reich, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley who was the secretary of labor during the Clinton administration. Read More ›

Who Should Inspect Lyft, Uber Cars?

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber lyft sidecar vehicle

Vehicle inspections have long been a bone of contention for critics of the ride-hailing services, who contend that regulations are too lax. … Several driver-mentors who do inspections for Lyft said that they received only minimal training, consisting of text and videos on their phones, and that the inspections were largely cosmetic. … Inspections for taxis are more extensive, underscoring the industry’s assertion that it doesn’t operate on a level playing ground. Read More ›

S.F., L.A. Sue Uber ‘To Protect Consumers’; Lyft Settles Charges

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber lyft sidecar vehicle

Privately held Uber last week raised $1.2 billion in funding, giving it a valuation of $40 billion — more than CBS, American Airlines or Kraft Foods. But the San Francisco company continues to anger regulators. In the past week, Uber was banned in India, Spain and Thailand and threatened with a ban in Portland, Ore. … Gascón laid out several allegations against Uber. Uber falsely claims that its driver background checks are superior to those for taxi driversUber charges passengers a $1 “safe rides fee” … and falsely claims that money goes toward “industry-leading” background checks.
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Leaked Transcript Shows Geico’s Stance Against Uber, Lyft

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber lyft sidecar vehicle

The largest insurer, State Farm, said it would not cover ride-service activities. “We do not insure livery use, therefore, customers should not depend on their personal auto insurance coverage to protect them while driving for a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft,” State Farm spokesman Sevag Sarkissian wrote in an e-mail. “A commercial auto insurance policy is needed to insure against livery use exposures.” Allstate, the third-largest, has a similar policy. Read More ›