Uber details law enforcement data requests in new report

Uber details law enforcement data requests in new report

Uber received more than 400 requests for data from law enforcement in the second half of 2015, according to a new report.

The company’s first transparency report, released on Tuesday, provides insight into the demands placed on the ride-hailing firm by investigators and regulators.

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In total, the company said it received 415 requests for data from law enforcement. The majority of those requests were in the form of subpoenas, but the company also responded to search warrants, court orders and emergency requests for information.

Overall, Uber complied with 84.8 percent of law enforcement requests, it reported, and 100 percent of the emergency requests.

Authorities requested data related to 408 rider accounts and 205 driver accounts, according to the report.

The company also chose to disclose the requests for information it received from regulators, while making the argument that regulators ask for too much data from the company.

“Of course regulators will always need some amount of data to be effective, just like law enforcement,” the company said in a blog post accompanying the report. “But in many cases they send blanket requests without explaining why the information is needed, or how it will be used.

“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 company reported that, between July and December of last year, it got 33 requests from regulators that it says affected more than 11 million riders and over 500,000 drivers. In many cases, the company says it either tried to or was successful in narrowing the scope of the request.

It also received 34 requests for information from airports, which often regulate transportation separately from the local and state governments.

Though it is Uber’s first transparency report, releasing such data has become standard practice at top-flight tech companies in response to increased concerns about government surveillance.