In news that doesn't come as shock or surprise, Uber has said it shared the data of its users with various US government agencies. The ride sharing company said in a report last week it shared information of a whopping 12 million users. This included both its drivers as well passengers.
"Like other companies, we receive requests from law enforcement agencies for information about our riders and drivers during the course of a criminal investigation or other emergency," Uber said in its transparency report.
Uber said it complied with roughly 85 percent of requests from law enforcement agencies.
As per Uber's claim, it didn't get any request from the US govt under the provisions of national security statutes. Nonetheless, the details shared by Uber were enough to reveal the exact identities of its users. As Infowars reports, this information further included pick-up and drop-off locations, fares and other trip data. Even in the cases where personally identifiable information isn't shared, it's enough to expose the behavioural pattern of the users.
"These agencies may request information about trips, trip requests, pickup and dropoff areas, fares, vehicles, and drivers in their jurisdictions for a given time period," Uber said.
This is not the first time we heard about some company sharing the data of its users. In the past even giants like Microsoft, Google had to comply with the federal requests. It is understandable to some extent, but the magnitude in this specific case is definitely a matter of concern. Although this is a US specific report, Uber "hopes" to share the info outside the US in other countries.
"And while this kind of trip data doesn't include personal information, it can reveal patterns of behavior—and is more than regulators need to do their jobs," the report said.