And as soon as you know who rented what bike when, and where each bike went, you're going to start knowing customers' homes, workplaces and places of worship.
Although the government and uber knowing this data is less private than uber alone knowing, we all know uber doesn't give a shit about customer privacy. Personally I'd be much more worried about uber having the data in the first place than about the government also having the data.
"Uber shares real-time rider information with government agency"?
It seems like Uber can't win. If they share information, they're violating the trust and privacy of their riders. If they don't they still don't care about privacy but they're now also flouting regulators.
Which is fine. They chose to collect the information, and they are facing a bad look following that decision.
Of course, their business model might not work without the collection, but not every business model is guaranteed to look good.
Like this is a little nuts, if you buy one of those GPS trackers for your kids you don't get to act shocked when you find out the company has their location records. You get to be angry if they use those records for anything other than providing you service but of course they have them.
Critcizing users afterwards that they "can't act shocked" for having these things done to them is only playing a blame game.
It's not even remotely shady for a service to inherently involve knowing where you are. That's something that is true of every brick and mortar store, and indeed every cab driver. Yet the government doesn't demand that those businesses provide real-time feeds of information about the movements of their customers, and if the government were to do so and they were to object on privacy grounds, we wouldn't take it to mean that their entire business model is inherently immoral and all shops should cease to exist.
But nobody actually getting the blame since it would be weird if anyone was actually mad at this. Does anyone seriously believe that using Find My iPhone doesn't allow Apple access to your phone's location for the purposes of showing you where it is?
That's the point. If you buy a GPS tracker, for example, by definition it will track your GPS location.
Would you expect a GPS tracker to not track your GPS location? Because that is what you are saying.
Uber's ride hailing service, sure. But the same is not true for the scooter and bike services, which have no need for such information.
No, they just need to know where they are when:
1. They run a collection routine
2. The bike/scooter is low on battery.
There is no info they need in association with the rider's trip. Or at least not, as the GP states, info required "by nature". That perspective is true of ride sharing (the driver needs to know where to pick up and drop off) but false in relation to bikes/scooters (no need to know start/end points, just need to know where the bike is during collection or low battery, and not in association with a rider).
Consider a similar system that would work with coin operated scooters. They can have GPS in the vehicle without constant association with users.
In any cases these two tracking databases, where is each scooter and who is on which scooter, should be separate so they can provide the former to law enforcement without disclosing citizens whereabouts.
But I avoid using Uber-anything, in part due to Uber's data collection, so my opinion on this data sharing is probably not that important.
The way that society does stuff like this is through government bodies. The real problem here seems like a lack of trust or oversight of government bodies, which creates the impossible situation you identify.
I don't necessarily disagree, but "data used for their benefit" covers all data used by all businesses, from your emails stored by your provider (assuming you don't self-host) to trade secrets, etc.
So either we say the government should be able to access all data from everywhere (except the few that individuals store on their own) for planning purposes and such, or we must define why this data is different from other.
There's also the idea that maybe we should have total access to a currently unthinkable amount of data 
That way the bike doesn’t even need internet. To unlock the bike it generates a code with a key which is on the bike.
I don’t see how GPS prevents theft for small items like a bike. There is a lot of bigger farming machinery stolen despite their GPS.
How do they tell the difference between the last user not returning it, and the bike being stolen with bolt cutters after the last user returned it properly?
Quite heavy and their specific number highly visible.
The lock is nearly unbreakable, a bolt which is locked inside the bike frame. I wouldn’t know of a way to crack this physically without demolishing the bike.
It’s much easier to steal any other bike instead.
I guess the main upside is vastly reduced technical infrastructure costs so you can get over a certain small percentage of stolen bikes after reducing this probability enough.
I would be very surprised if someone can dismantle them on the street. But nevertheless if you have another bike right next to it which is worth more, lighter, faster and easier to crack why even bother?
Combine this with a few anti-theft procedures that don't involve GPS / internet (as commonly used by bikeshare programs in various municipalities) and you've got something that might work.
I also don’t understand how mentioning JSON is even relevant in this thread.
This sort of dispute is probably going to end up in a legal forum at some point. In that case, video footage from a device that's not physically on the bike (and therefore much harder to tamper with) is going to carry much, much, much more weight than GPS traces. Also, you usually know exactly who is supposed to have access to CCTV camera systems / footage, and can therefore have those people make legally binding representations as to their accuracy / fidelity.
(Of course, with regards to this problem, your objective as a service provider is to end up in court as infrequently as possible. You'd be more likely to invest in anti-theft measures so you can get the probability of theft low enough to reasonably write off as part of opex.)
The same cannot be said for the government.
Why would you assume that without significant reason? This is a company that has, as you said, had problems with privacy.
2015, tracking concerns hit the news. 
2017, there's a class action.  And FTC auditing. 
2018, there's massive fines. 
We're in 2019, years on from actual problems being raised, and then being forced to confronted. How are Uber doing on that front?
> By focusing on global hiring, you will have people on the ground in other regions who can better understand the local laws, better understand the culture that drove the laws and how a new law is likely to be enforced, and build better relationships with regulators and other influencers.
Sounds more like they're interested in controlling the laws, not actually improving themselves overall.
(And none of this is to suggest the government is any way a better caretaker - they're worse in almost every way.)
Uber cares about the confidentiality of their business records. They will continue to not give a single fuck about privacy. There is a difference.
Thus, either you are fine with the government getting this data, simply because you don't trust Uber, or you are agreeing that the ISP should also share its data with the government in real time.
Except, as far as I can see, according to the article, the only required info is start and finish point and journey length.
1. The taxi medallions were extracted due to poor crypto choice (and simple structure of medallion IDs), so you can map from reality -> dataset
2. The celebrities were photographed entering/exiting the taxi, with the medallion captured.
If you broke the link -- the taxi medallion -- you wouldn't have de-anonymized trips. And NYC anonymization process clearly (and correctly) intended for that link to not exist.
That is, start, end and length was not the key motivators in de-anonymization in this case. However, you can still imagine this data is sufficient to de-anonymize when usage is rare (and you've captured either start or end destination), but otherwise, the taxi data is not indicative of anonymization futility but rather implementation failure.
In other cases, no photo is necessary (trips originating or ending at a residential address, linked to another sensitive location such as an abortion clinic).
There is a lot of research available on this topic. "Unique in the Crowd", published in 2013, found that it takes only 4 GPS locations/timestamps to de-anonymize 95% of the population, with no other metadata. With 2 GPS pings, 50% of trips can be de-anonymized.
But really, the straightforward way is culturally. Like if there were a general expectation that a company would only use data for an immediate purpose and then delete it, employees confirmed the company culture and processes, their legal terms supported this, and there was a strong privacy law to backstop any bad actors.
But our culture is not there. We've just generally accepted that Uber will act as an attacker, exploiting their surveillance data on us as much as currently possible, storing it indefinitely to do "better" in the future, and turning it over to other third party attackers for "business purposes".
This article draws our attention because we're pretty sure if the city gets access to this data, they'll do the exact same things for their own ends - probably turning it over to the police to integrate with the ANPR data who will pass it to the feds for their own nefarious games.
It's an environment of zero trust with its corresponding high costs, which are becoming more and more apparent as wider society is hit with the implications. This is the true damage that the Surveillance Valley ethos has done, and it's going to take a hell of a long time to recover.
The city should be able to ensure regulatory compliance, while anonymity is preserved.
To address privacy issues, data needs to be aggregated, with trip clusters with less than 5-10 trips dropped. Differential privacy strategies also exist, but dropping groups with low number of user contributions is the easiest solution to implement.
Though I grant the general point that making the drop-off location more granular could satisfy both criteria, but you would need some kind of varying size to account for scooter density.
And if you know roughly where rides are going to / from and when, then that helps you integrate your different types of public transport - for example making sure that when the train arrives there are enough scooters there, or understanding how popular scooter ride paths interact with bike lanes, bus lanes, etc.
Mobile phone cell size is generally a pretty good proxy for population density - modern micro-cell sectors can be pretty small, and 5G will make them even small in urban areas.
(I work on this sort of stuff for a major engineering data science and asset management group in the UK).
I understand why a company needs to find a distinct schooter, but why does the city need the ability to find a distinct scooter?
I fail to understand why it's an issue if the government has this data but people are okay with Uber having it. Surely trusting the government is a more reasonable policy?
By your logic, it would be more reasonable to require that Google be barred from all data sent over email, but require that copies get sent to the NSA. Similarly, AT&T should be required to not collect any phone records, but also be mandated to provide a copy of every single call to the FBI.
Uber falls under the jurisdiction of a gigantic State apparatus with both a vested interest in and the ability to use violence to enforce it’s will on you. Being a good corporate citizen, Uber would dutifully hand over your data to said government when asked. This is a distinction without a difference.
Note that I don’t think they do this out of the goodness of the hearts or altruism, but rather that they’ve done the calculus and determined that giving this data to the government would cost them enough ill will and loss of revenue to make it not worthwhile. Uber, unlike a government, has to answer to the market, and thus its every consumer’s duty to punish those who would sell our liberties.
And even when they are threatened with (and now ultimately face) a shutdown that will cost them downtime in presumably a very profitable market.
And at the same time, the government is doing bad things with your data.
If they made a habit of doing that without a serious trail of justification under the law capital flight would be historic - damaging their income and GDP/the source of economic power, and damaging stability. It isn't even anything overtly sinister - just sensing that given the peril it is time to get the hell out of there.
And that is without lobbying and soft power aren't available.
Looks like you have not really read about what governments do to their people when it's convenient for them to do so. Current examples: check China. Of course the US is not China, but that should be an ample warning enough that trusting government with data + power is a bad combination.
The difference is that the CCP has every right to shut down businesses and they make the Law directly. No provisions can be made by external parties, there is no separation of power. So in practice all companies work in accordance with the CCP and will bend to their requests. In the US there are still companies which can and do refuse the federal government's requests to provide data without sufficient reason.
But a government like the US isn't a singular entity. There are all sorts of good, bad, and neutral actors within it. If you hand the government your data now those bad actors can abuse it now, rather than some hypothetical future where the US becomes an extreme authoritarian dictatorship.
Somebody clearly didn't learn anything about history..
No, whatever Ubers goal in not doing this, I'm sure the motivations of local L.A. politicians are forever more twisted. These people wouldn't know public transport if a bus ran them over. Which is unlikely to happen, given their average speed of 9 mph.
I don't understand what you are saying here, can you elaborate? What are you saying about Uber / monopolistic rideshare companies?
Related, I don't understand why cities/governments allow Uber to exist considering the reality that, as you point out, "Uber lacks a sustainable business model". Is it not transparent to all relevant parties that Uber could not and cannot maintain the price it has set to gain market share, and that down the line it had a clear goal of building monopolistic market share in order to effectively price fix against the interest of the consumers? I don't know enough to reflect on public transport and taxi companies of old, but how did we get to present day without consumer protection regulations sorting things out?
I see parallels with Amazon, and I have the same questions. Why are they entertained in this destruction of local economies by the entities which should protect those economies (in the US, local and state gov)?
I wonder if Barnes and Nobel's effect destruction of local book stores had a period of growth with lower prices then settled down and raised prices? If so, is this not against the interest of the consumer? If not, well I'm not sure. Maybe Barnes and Nobel is not comparable to these internet based companies.
Can you explain how the real time data can be used for that and why not some aggregated anonymized data, or data gathered by the government observation themselves?
In the earlier US laws would be enforcement tested and disposed of if they were intractable to actually implement; unfortunately now it seems like laws are made, and a regression of rights is accepted so that the laws may be enforced. The intent of the constitution was the exact opposite.
† You can argue private sexual relations (in general) are not an appropriate target of regulation and you would be right. However accepting this argument in every case means many things can not be regulated. Perhaps this was the original intent.
Apparently some twitter uses do not like HN, it is/was not just myself, someone else told me about it.
Edit: I've been trying to find a source and can't, so that may not be true. They only share detailed data with a few places, like NYC. LA only gets data on regular taxi rides, and it isn't realtime.
API Spec: https://github.com/CityOfLosAngeles/mobility-data-specificat...
Uber, as they do, is refusing to comply with laws/provide data that would enable local governments to actually regulate them. As I understand it, the pilot phase was for Bikes/Scooters, but the intention is to require use of similar APIs by car based rideshare companies in the future. Which explains some of Uber's resistance despite this only currently covering JUMP Bike Share.
There's a number of other cities (NYC, Miami, Philly, SF, SJ, SEA, etc) involved with OMF/MDS. LADOT is one of the first implementations but they aren't doing it all in house. Much of the design/development of the mobility API spec and open source implementation has been contracted out to Lacuna.ai (via Ellis & Associates, a wholly owned subsidiary).
Scooters on sidewalks are dangerous and should be banned.
We have explicit laws against skateboarding and riding bicycles on sidewalks in most communities. For bicyclists in San Francisco: "It’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk if you are over the age of 13. (SF Transportation Code Sec. 7.2.12)" https://sfbike.org/resources/bicycle-law/rules-of-the-road/
Yet, everyday you can find scooters on sidewalks wherever scooters are available. Toddlers use sidewalks - they walk in a random walk. Hearing impaired, sight-impaired, mobility-impaired people use sidewalks. Seniors use sidewalks. These people do not expect 180lb adults riding at 5 to 10mph right in their face. The kinetic energy and momentum at 10mph of an adult is considerable.
Falls for anybody can lead to bone fractures. Even more so for seniors. Hip fractures in particular can be fatal for seniors. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-06-hip-fractures-elderly...
Scooters should not be allowed on sidewalks.
And, objectively, someone riding in a car is far more of a threat to pedestrian lives than someone riding on a scooter, even on the sidewalk. People traveling by scooters instead of cars is better in every way. Seems like a mistake to demonize scooters.
But seriously, I think modern car culture is deeply flawed on multiple dimensions. I would personally love to live in a car-free city with dedicated lanes for bikes, scooters and pedestrians along with their commensurate safety rules and regulations.
Currently, we're rapidly adding motorized vehicles where pedestrians have a historical expectation of safety. There are no lanes on a sidewalk. There are no passing zones. There are no turn signals. You can back up and reverse and will. You can cluster. You can linger. You can photograph buildings. You can walk briskly. You can stop suddenly realizing you left your phone at home, do a 180 and walk-run home. It would be impossible to enumerate all the ways sidewalks are used.
It is fundamentally impossible to resolve the safety expectations of pedestrians with scooters. Pedestrians were there first and will always be there.
It is ultimately up to the rider to assure safe operating regardless of mode of transport (feed, skateboard, scooter, etc).
The fact that skateboards were widely banned due to a moral panic (largely around culture, not safety), isn't in itself a very strong argument since I'd point out that that ban lacks good justification within itself.
I might agree more if there were safe cycle paths that skateboarders, scooter users, and similar could use but there aren't. Their choices are the sidewalk, where there's a risk of minor injury or the street where there's a risk of death.
For now, the sidewalk is the "least bad" alternative until a better one is built.
Runners, and specifically regular runners, are by definition self-trained to hit both higher speeds and frequency of runs. The average adult just can't get up and run at 10mph for 10 minutes without training. The average adult probably couldn't do 6mph for 2 minutes. Yet this same average adult, without training, can get on a scooter and move at 5-10mph down a sidewalk.
Second, runners do not run everyday, multiple times for every trip and errand. You can grab a scooter for lunch, for an errand, etc multiple times a day.
Scooter trips are more frequent, done by everyday people and should be banned on sidewalks.
Lastly, it is not the job of pedestrians to accommodate scooters because there is no better alternative yet. That is not how laws and regulations work.
Someone should do a cost benefit analysis of danger to pedestrians from the level of cars on the road due to air pollution compared to the reduced harm from cars but increase in risk from scooters.
Having cars drive by is non-0, exposure to break dust and car exhaust are known to case long term irreversible health effects, is there a crossover where a certain % of people getting hit by a scooter at 10mph is a net benefit if there is a large enough reduction in vehicle traffic?
Of course tire particles still exist from some scooters, but the tire types are different and I also wonder what the rate of tire dust from the tires scooters use, and what the exposure impact is there.
We tend to fear the immediate dangers we can see, but not bother doing the math on long term consequences.
Wasn't something that was claimed. It was an analogy to show the absurdity of your argument.
> Second, runners do not run everyday, multiple times for every trip and errand. You can grab a scooter for lunch, for an errand, etc multiple times a day.
Above you argued speed was the core problem, now it is frequency? You said a post ago that anything on the footpath going "5 to 10mph" is dangerous due to "the kinetic energy and momentum at 10mph of an adult is considerable." Why is that suddenly safer when it is less frequent? You said it could "lead to bone fractures." Bone fractures are fine when runners do it but not scooter users..? Seems like you've forgotten the argument you were making above.
> Lastly, it is not the job of pedestrians to accommodate scooters
Wasn't something that was claimed.
When there's a rash of people being hurt by inattentive runners smacking into them, that will be addressed, too.
So Uber can’t really hide the data if they’re in noncompliance.
St Louis has this clause written in their scooter legislation that a certain number of scooters must be in certain regions for the purpose of equity. I’ll tell you it’s a damn lie as far as the data is concerned. No one seems to care though. It was written in so politicians could advertise it as a good thing, but they refuse to enforce it because of the little revenue or attention the scooters bring. I don’t really care where they put the scooters, but it still pisses me off both that scooter companies are seemingly above the law and that some politicians are lazy cheats.
Strange that Saint Louis chooses not to enforce these equity rules. Chicago fined seven companies for not spreading their scooters around properly.
> The city will require companies to share information on the start point, end point and travel time of each bike or scooter trip within 24 hours after it ends, and whether the vehicle entered zones where riding or parking are restricted.
I know for at least all of the scooters I've tracked, you can identify each scooter by a unique ID. Assuming you pull your data on a minute-by-minute basis, you can retrace the start and end of a scooter ride.
For example, Scooter 123 is available at x,y at 12:05, It's not available from 12:06 to 12:15. It becomes available at 12:16 at x,y. The ride was approximately 11 minutes and started and ended at those two points.
I don't think the city wants real-time data, and frankly I don't think these companies would be willing or even capable of producing it.
Sending all ride data seems excessive. A few photographs taken by city officials showing scooters in wrong places should do the trick.
"Los Angeles officials have said the data are necessary to figure out which companies are flouting the permit program’s rules, including caps on the number of vehicles and bans on riding in certain areas. They have also argued that the companies cannot be trusted to regulate themselves."
To prevent sticker tampering, stickers can be placed behind a transparent piece of tempered glass or forego stickers entirely and use bolted on metal plaques.
From their perspective, it’s just a bonus that they can cloud it in the sophistry of “its for public safety”.
The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution is about privacy FROM GOVERNMENT INTRUSION, which is precisely what this is, an intrusive act on the part of government.
Why don't they devote their time and effort to actually fixing the crumbling infrastructure here? It's a joke. There are third world countries that have better streets and highways than we have in certain parts of Los Angeles.
From your comment:
> real time data on customer behavior
If the article is to be trusted (I have no other sources) then this analogy is inaccurate. The city, by this reporting is not asking for customer behavior, its asking for scooter location, and for that matter, not even the route of the ride.
It's worth noting that each of your examples are of industries or professions that have large bureaucracies and are heavily regulated. I'm sure pharmacies share data about what's being bought and sold with regulatory agencies, and I don't think any of us would want that to not be the case. Otherwise how and why would you trust any drug to be what the label says it is.
How could the CDC identify causes of outbreaks if doctors didn't share health information with them? Of course privacy is a huge issue which is pervasive in all of this, but to consider a regulation of shady rideshare companies preposterous is missing a lot of the reality of government.
I'm not for any side in this story, but I am especially uncomfortable with the fierce defense of the rideshare companies in this thread.
I mean, one could make an argument for the utility of a transponder on every vehicle on the highway to use this data to gain an understanding of flow patterns with the aim of improving traffic flow, laws, efficiency, etc.
Frankly, having had the pleasure of driving the 405 for several years as part of a 50 mile commute (each way) I could see the potential benefit of having this data so long as it is used in a determined effort to improve traffic flow. Our traffic rules and laws are a mess.
The problem is that this kind of thing expands the surveillance state. I am, by no means, a conspiracy theorist, but I have also had "interesting" experiences in other countries where the state and law enforcement are far less constrained than they are here. These rights are precious and must be defended.
Yes, sometimes opposition can seem --or even is-- petty. Before we know it we have eroded our freedom by a thousand little petty things that collectively take out big chunks before we are able to realize what we've done.
If people are free, government is entitled to knowing very little about them. Their function isn't to keep tabs on us, to keep a database of every single action we take. That is NOT what they are elected to do.
Freedom is a very fragile construct. If we don't hold our government to the bounds they are supposed to occupy what is at risk is, without a doubt, freedom, by a thousand cuts.
I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure this is just Uber getting rolled into the infrastructure they should have been participating in anyway.
I'm not terribly thrilled about the implications; but it's also not surprising at all that a transit service provider would have to guarantee to a locality that they can locate their assets.
That requirement can easily be met by occasional random spot checks a few times a month. There's no need for realtime reporting.
Metrocards can lead back to the payment card used for the purchase, and buses (which also record passenger ingress/egress) can remember all swiped Metrocards.
The boardwalks in some CA cities fall into this category. You can ride in the street parallel at whatever speed you want. But on the boardwalk, you're capped at X mph (usually <10mph, if I'm remembering correctly).
Yes, the city could just use traffic enforcement to issue tickets. But, I'm inclined to have software enforcement and not hire more traffic cops.
I can contest what a police officer is claiming in a court. With automated systems? Good luck.
If society wants to enforce traffic laws, it should hire more cops, not hackable AI blackboxes.
Anyway, not claiming this is ideal. Just sounds (without much thought) like a better solution than traffic cops.
We expect pressing the gas pedal to have a predictable outcome.
Subverting this expectation is potentially quite dangerous.
Consider that someone might temporarily exceed the speed limit while passing, legally, in the oncoming traffic lane. Then this system kicks in, they can't pass, and get hit by oncoming traffic because they're pinned by the car they tried to pass.
Why couldn't a scooter just figure out its own position and limit its own speed if it's on a boardwalk?
And I mostly agree. In an ideal world, Jump/Bird/etc wouldn't need a constant stream of data to locate their scooters. But, I don't see them getting away from at least having real-time data when a scooter is parked, for service/charging and theft prevention/recovery.
In this case, they're allowing electric personal vehicles on city sidewalks, information would be useful to determine if they should create bike lanes, change traffic signal patterns, etc... Not to mention, at the end of the day, cities do have control over what drives where, how fast, etc...
> Companies are required to transmit real-time data on all trips made within the city, including the start point, end point and travel time.
This is not "real-time rider information" as mentioned by many comments, this is 'real-time scooter information'.
> Uber has resisted the rule for months, arguing, with the backing of several data privacy organizations, that the city’s policy constitutes government surveillance. With minimal analysis, they say, the information could easily reveal where people live, work, socialize or worship.
I don't understand. The city should know where you live, you pay taxes and utilities and I'm sure there is a whole mess of bureaucracy that knows where individual names live for different reasons. Are we worried about specific elements within the bureaucracy knowing certain information? Is this information only accessible by monitoring scooters and not available to said entity by getting it through other means (school district zoning and so on)?
> Los Angeles officials have said the data are necessary to figure out which companies are flouting the permit program’s rules, including caps on the number of vehicles and bans on riding in certain areas. They have also argued that the companies cannot be trusted to regulate themselves.
This makes sense, no one would expect a regulation with no ability for the enforcing agent to monitor to be followed.
> Companies such as Uber “generate and collect massive amounts of personal and financial data,” while the city “does not collect information specific to individual riders beyond trip information,” said Marcel Porras, the Transportation Department’s chief sustainability officer, in a letter to Uber last week.
Yeah, that's pretty much what I expect from this situation, the whole dog and pony show that these rideshare companies put on seems like a farce.
I'm not happy with municipalities for a whole load of reasons, LA especially has an awful history in many domains. But there is no world in which I trust these rideshare companies MORE than I trust municipalities.
I should add I'm sad that Uber(Jump) get to redefine the data privacy debate via their spokesperson and this journalist. I don't blame the writer, but it is absurd to validate claims like my second except above. I think this is gaslighting? If not, then related. Some PR moves to seed public expectation in this matter. They are implicitly defining this issue as something that is fundamentally different when the data is stored and collected by a corporation (them) to be sold and used however they desire vs utilization by entities in the public sector. I am happy to point people to a fantastic conversation on the "two" definitions of data privacy here:
I actually laughed out loud when I read this. Incredible that these companies have the audacity to take that stance.
"It is only we, the technocratic elite, that should be allowed to know where people live, work, socialize or worship, and to use that information to extract even more data and even more profit from these people. The city government should sweep the streets and mind its own business."
> enthralled with giving real time location data to the government
Then I would completely agree with you, but as I point out in the first except of my original comment, this IS NOT the case. Maybe the reporting is wrong, and therefore I'm wrong, but I'm frustrated by the general consensus in this thread being what you just wrote. That is not the situation. And similarly, I'm frustrated by the implicit defense of ride share companies here. As I end my original comment, I distrust both municipalities and these ride share companies. I'm not enthralled by anything here.
I was merely pointing out the irony and hypocrisy of a company like Uber, for god's sake, trying to dodge regulation by crying privacy.
Figure out a privacy notice for your LA Riders and add it to your EULA - lord knows they've done this for less worthwhile purposes before. In this case, this is about sharing competitive information with the city that others might see. This is not a choice. Any language of upset from the company seems like hyperbole and not to be taken seriously.
If you think this is crazy, I'd ask you to take a look at liquor boards throughout the US. This data sharing agreement seems paltry to comply with by comparison.
It’s not about the general principle here. If Uber’s claim about deanonymization is accurate, this specific policy is PRISM level bad.
They have a data requirement. It is not new, the company is not responding. Don’t they already do this with ride data from Uber?
EDIT: Looks like they don't do this for rides yet, and may be using this as a trial balloon for greater data access? (based on this article from May, if accurate?) https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/23/tech/uber-lyft-cities-data/in...
EDIT2: DC has been doing this with car / ride-sharing agencies for awhile but I don't believe it's published. Not sure of the status of SharedStreets:
This analogy is absurd.
As municipalities get more technically advanced, why shouldn't they have access to the same type of data or where these scooters are? How hard is it to open up an API?
This seems to be, how dare citizens impose a cost of doing business in their neighborhoods!
They don't have the right to know where I go.
> The data would not include a rider’s name, but even in sprawling metropolitan areas, paths between home, work and school are typically unique, experts say. Someone with basic coding skills and access to the data could easily connect a trip to an individual person.
> “This data is incredibly, incredibly sensitive,” said Jeremy Gillula, the technology projects director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based digital rights group.
Which would necessitate this data exchange is price they pay to operate in the city.
I also trust that cities are getting more sophisticated and if LA said that data exchange is their price for doing business, then good on LA for knowing how the dataset could benefit them.
This is where citizens need to advocate in their own neighborhoods and get involved and vote if that is what they want.
If you have an issue with how theses companies operate, stop theses ways of operating, that's all. The solution isn't to deanonymize the userbase.
Users relinquished that control in your TOS.
What the user wants has no bearing in this whatsoever. Uber is simply using you as a tool to get around the laws in the regions it operates in.
How would you feel that instead of demanding the data , they simply purchased it?
I'm not arguing who is owning that data, I'm arguing about what happens to that data and whether that's right or wrong. The fact that it's legal or not doesn't change anything.
Would you be fine with a genocide if the ones comitting them made sure it was ratified as a law first?
> Uber is simply using you as a tool to get around the laws in the regions it operates in.
If they didn't use that reason and simply shared it, I would still be arguing the same point...
> How would you feel that instead of demanding the data , they simply purchased it?
It would be just as bad.
edit: *while using every loopholes, sketchy and sometimes straight up illegal ways to do it and killing someone as a result.
While a good process is important, I was holding up that often times in local regulation there are all kinds of really terrible flaws and gotchas - you have to know people to get a license or permit, etc.
In this case, it seems like a pretty straightforward compliance request, using an API whose code is publicly available, in a process that has been in-progress for at least six months, which, for local regulation, is pretty good!
I was not comparing the industries, or the materials requested.
Liquor stores don't physically move around and violate regulations on where they should operate.
That is why LA is asking for this information. To regulate them since Uber can't be trusted.
My question would be, does the city have the right to demand this information from Uber? I don’t think that they do. I’d like to see this decided in court.
a) LA demanding scooter data
b) LA demanding businesses segregate customers.
I was comparing:
c) Uber should share scooter data with LA (or shut down) because The Law
d) Uber should segregate customers (or shut down) because The Law.
Do you agree that c) and d) are poorly justified, and that if you believe one you should believe the other?
I agree that there are reasons why the data-sharing requirement is a much more defensible law than Jim Crow . But sailfast wasn't making those arguments, s/he was just saying Uber should share that data simply because it's the law. That's not a good reason, and as well justified as saying they should comply with Jim Crow because it's the law.
 Hence why I said Uber should look for a middle ground that satisfies the nobler intents of the law.
To read more about this, the nonpartisan CA Office of Legislative Counsel has published an analysis of how the law applies, which found that this type of collection does in fact violate CalECPA in its current form . The debate will likely come down to what steps need to be taken to make the collection scheme compliant.
It is apt to review the due process before complying.
If you're lucky you can get a judge to get the entire agency charter declared unconstitutional and your cost of business goes to zero.
E.g. many locations have pet registration fees but these fees may not entirely go towards the maintenance of a pet tracking system* or to retaining animal control. In some places none of the fees go towards those things. So it's just a tax that was never voted on.
* And do these things even lead to a safer public? In some cases outcome testing isn't required for a valid law, but if the law states desired outcome it can be.
That's what happened to the NY taxi drivers of the time, who won their rules by rioting and setting other people's property on fire.
> During the Great Depression, New York had as many as 30,000 cab drivers. With more drivers than passengers, cab drivers were working longer hours, which led to growing public concern over the maintenance and mechanical integrity of taxi vehicles.
Have you re-written history to support Uber's lawlessness?
If the reality is the law was created to protect passengers, then Uber is actually repeating the same mistakes of history. People are hurt. Laws are passed. People are less hurt. People forget why the law was passed. People break the law. People get hurt again. Same thing as the great depression itself, which caused a glut of cabs and then after the 2008 crash, Uber saves the day by doing exactly the same thing: Creating too many cabs such that each cab doesn't make enough money anymore and consumers are at risk and if cars weren't built so much better now than the 1930's perhaps even more so.
Edit: I see arby's link below. I can see how violence contributed to the medallion system. I still think the use of law in that case is justified to quell the unrest. Yes, perhaps we could have put the violent cabbies in jail too, but would that be better for society than regulation designed to balance the supply / demand curve?
Uber has upset that balance and now we have to write a bunch more laws to regulate Uber, which just seems like a step backwards for those doomed to repeat history.
Of course, because breaking laws isn't respectable and those cabbies were just lawless crooks who weren't playing by the same rules everyone else had to.
> regulation designed to balance the supply / demand curve
Yeah, except that for the last decades that "balance" meant drivers (who for the most part did not own medallions) had to pay to work, by renting a medallion from actual crooks like Gene Freidman (aka Taxi King), who made millions from it.
This is the balance that those rules were defending: https://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/09/nyregion/driving-a-taxi-d...
Maybe some non-violent law breaking is needed to escape that shitty local maximum.
It's not a tech company, even if it uses tech. It's about legal subterfuge, lack of responsibility, lack of safety, destroying the idea of employment, and turning the screws to make a fast buck until sued out of oblivion.
> Why have we lauded this company as a darling? Breaking laws isn't respectable. Call it fighting rent seekers if you want, pretty it up how you like, but they are lawless crooks.
It's because they popped up with the idea of "ignore sections of law", "destroy the idea of employment", and move faster than cities can sue, and you get a pretty penny. And they're public, so lots of people get rich over lots of others getting poorer.
It is seemingly often if not always overlooked that the Bill of Rights it not actually a bill of rights at all, it is a bill of prohibitions on the government, or a bill of rights by negation of offenses against them. From what I can tell, that notion of negative rights, i.e., open ended rights bound by the prohibition of government from violating them, is singularly unique in the whole world.
I would appreciate if someone could point out an example of them same, especially as part of the most fundamental law that governs a state, which even supersede the Constitution itself, a kind of meta-Constitution; natural, God given law that supersedes all Constitutional rights and all powers of government.
Seriously, I would love to know why you find that to be a perfectly fine thing, especially today when current abuses are built on presumptions based on a totally different world where "giving your papers" literally meant giving your unique paper to someone and it then would not simply be reproduced billions of times and spread all throughout the world for anyone and everyone's use against you.
I really hope that since you are here, it is not a challenge for you to realize the massive issues here at stake.
Think about what that means in practice … it's literally a mass surveillance state that violates every single tenet and even essentially every clause of the Constitution when, e.g., courts of uninformed and uneducated judges rule that "no, the real time constant surveillance and tracking of you through your devices is actually NOT a violation of the letter and, more importantly, the spirit of the 4th Amendment." How are you secure when you are literally under constant surveillance by a surveillance state, my friend.
I don't know why you types tend to have this kind of submissive and supplicant attitude towards the massive surveillance state, if it's not some sick self-hatred and self-punishment complex, but it is not a healthy mentality to have to make excuses for the mass surveillance and control by a minority of tyrants that lord over you as unaccountable demigods. How does that make any sense. I would love if you could try to explain that to me.
The fact is that the 4th amendment is only a protection insofar as you can get it enforced by those with power to do so, and that's the courts.
This isn't China. Governments in the US are not allowed to simply round up people and put them somewhere without permission and/or due process.