The city of Los Angeles has temporarily suspended rideshare giant Uber’s permit to rent scooters and bicycles city-wide. LA officials say the company opted not to obey city rules regarding data sharing. Uber operates its scooter and bicycle rentals through a subsidiary named Jump. According to a spokesperson for the city of Los Angeles, Uber is the only one of eight licensed vendors to intentionally ignore the data-sharing provisions. Uber has indicated that it will file legal action against the city rather than comply with data-sharing mandates.
Lawmakers in Los Angeles say data sharing is a critical component of efforts to maximize safety and minimize the risk of congestion and increased traffic problems. They say the information allows them to accurately and efficiently track the number of scooters in use, as well as where they are parked, so that streets and sidewalks don’t become impassable. Uber, however, says the rules raise significant concerns about the privacy rights of its customers and potential misuse of personal data.
City officials counter that their privacy and confidentiality standards are such that those concerns are unfounded. They insist that the data collected is about only the scooters and bicycles and has nothing to do with the riders. Jump currently has a permit that allows it to rent as many as 5,500 scooters and bikes. The entire city allows just over 36,000 dockless vehicles on the roads.
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