Tag Archives: Uber

Facing Regulatory Roadblocks, Uber Ramps Up Its Lobbying In California

by Chris Kirkham and Tracey Lien, Los Angeles Times

uber exec toys with car and cash

Uber now spends more on lobbyists in California than Wal-Mart, Bank of America or Wells Fargo … in the top 3% of companies and organizations. … So far in 2015, Uber has paid about $200,000 to lobbyists. That’s more than 10 times the amount spent by the limousine industry and nearly four times greater than the taxi industry’s trade group. … A PUC administrative law judge decided earlier this month that Uber should be fined $7.3 million and suspended from operating in California. Read More ›

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

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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 ›

Uber Data Collection Changes Should Be Barred, Privacy Group Urges

by Natasha Singer and Mike Isaac, The New York Times

A leading privacy rights group wants the Federal Trade Commission to prohibit Uber from instituting changes to its privacy policy that the group says will allow the ride-hailing app to collect more detailed data about customers’ whereabouts and use their contact lists to send their friends promotional pitches. … Uber’s reputation is still recovering from public censure last year after allegations surfaced that company employees had mishandled trip data about individual consumers to track their locations, and inappropriately shared an internal tool — colloquially known as “God view” — that showed users taking trips in real time. Read More ›

Uber Is Facing A Potentially Huge Blow In California

by Ben Geier, Fortune

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In a decision that has the potential to alter — and perhaps cripple — Uber’s business model, the California Labor Commission has ruled that drivers for the ride-hailing service are employees of the company rather than independent contractors. Right now, as Business Insider notes, Uber faces virtually no expenses for the more than one million drivers who give rides using the service. If the ruling holds, though, all of those people become employees of the company, and that exposes Uber to such costs as Social Security, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance. 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 ›

Uber Ride Takes Violent Turn

by Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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The passenger told the driver he would like to get out of the car but the driver refused to stop and continued driving. At Pier 30, just past the passenger’s requested destination, the passenger managed to open the car door and attempted to run away, but the driver allegedly chased after him on foot, police said. When the driver caught up to the passenger, he kicked him and then robbed him of his cellphone and debit card, police said. When the driver caught up to the passenger, he kicked him and then robbed him of his cellphone and debit card, police said. Read More ›

Privacy Getting Taken For A Ride

by Samantha Gallegos, Capitol Weekly

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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

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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 (Chau) Protects Uber Passenger Privacy

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. 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 ›

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