In this report, Uber is providing a comprehensive overview of information that was provided to state and local regulators and law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada between July and December 2016.
Regulatory reporting requirements
Uber connects riders and drivers in a highly regulated transportation sector. Regulatory agencies like the California Public Utilities Commission and the New Orleans Department of Safety and Permits oversee offline services like electricity, construction and taxis in addition to Uber rides. They are empowered by law to require regulated transportation companies to report information about their operations. Responses to these requirements are listed below.
Law enforcement requests
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. Details about these requests are also included below.
Regulatory Reporting Requirements
Regulated transportation companies are required by law to provide certain information about their operations to local regulatory agencies. 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.
In some cases, reporting requirements for online companies may differ or exceed what regulators demand from offline companies. And in other cases, online companies are requested to produce different types of information—like an electronic trip receipt with a trip route instead of a paper log. Both occur because regulators assume that technology companies maintain and therefore should provide these records.
The statistics here show how many riders and drivers were affected by regulatory reporting requirements in the U.S. and Canada.
|City/state||Total riders affected There is a risk that information like pickup and dropoff locations may allow government agencies—or anyone else who obtains this information—to identify individual riders by associating it with publicly available records. That is why we’ve specified the total number of riders whose trip details have been reported||Total drivers affected|
|Kansas City, MO||0||7,000|
|San Antonio, TX||0||0|
|City / Province||Total riders affected There is a risk that information like pickup and dropoff locations may allow government agencies—or anyone else who obtains this information—to identify individual riders by associating it with publicly available records. That is why we’ve specified the total number of riders whose trip details have been reported||Total drivers affected|
Values reported have been truncated
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Airport Reporting Requirements
Separate from state and local regulatory agencies, airport authorities have the ability to regulate transportation services within and around airports. In order to operate at airports, regulated transportation companies and other similar services are required to enter into agreements created and enforced by each airport authority. These agreements vary by airport and require transportation services to report information such as trip volumes on a monthly basis; when vehicles enter and exit the airport area; where vehicles pick up and drop off within the airport area; and/or each vehicle’s registration information, license plate, and driver.
The statistics here show the number of riders and drivers affected by airport reporting requirements in the U.S.
|Airport||Riders affected||Drivers affected|
|Des Moines, IA||0||0|
|Destin/Okaloosa County, FL||0||0|
|El Paso, TX||0||0|
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||0||42,000|
|Kansas City, MO||0||0|
|Las Vegas, NV||0||19,000|
|Little Rock, AR||0||0|
|Los Angeles, CA||0||94,000|
|Myrtle Beach, SC||0||0|
|New Orleans, LA||0||0|
|Newport News, VA||0||0|
|Orange County, CA||0||34,000|
|Palm Beach County, FL||0||0|
|Salt Lake City, UT||0||5,000|
|San Antonio, TX||0||0|
|San Diego, CA||0||6,000|
|San Francisco, CA||0||58,000|
|San Jose, CA||0||32,000|
|San Luis Obisbo, CA||0||700|
|Santa Maria, CA||0||100|
Values reported have been truncated
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Law Enforcement Requests
Uber receives law enforcement requests for information related to criminal investigations, and may provide information about specific trips, riders or drivers in response. Our dedicated team of experts, who are trained to manage these requests, ensures that any disclosure of information is consistent with our internal policies and applicable law. For example, we may require a subpoena, court order, or search warrant before providing different types of information in the U.S. You can learn more about our process and requirements for responding to law enforcement requests here.
The U.S. statistics here show how many law enforcement requests we received from local, state and federal authorities, the type of legal process they used, the number of riders and drivers affected by these requests, and how often we’ve responded with relevant information. The Canada statistics here show how many requests we received through legal or emergency process, the number of riders and drivers affected by these requests, and how often we’ve responded with relevant information.
|Rider accounts requested||Driver accounts requested||Percentage of requests where some data was produced Some requests affect more than one rider or driver account||Compliance|
|Withdrawn/ no data found||18%|
|Government requests||Total requests||Total requests withdrawn/no data found||Percentage where some data was produced||Total driver/ rider accounts produced|
As of this reporting period, Uber has not produced data in response to a national security request.
|Government requests||Driver accounts requested||Rider accounts requested||Total requests Some requests affect more than one rider or driver account||Percentage of requests where some data was produced|
|Request type||Driver accounts requested||Rider accounts requested||Percentage where some data was produced||Total requests|
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How is this report different from other transparency reports?
Our transparency report is the first report addressing regulated transportation services and includes information about reporting requirements for regulatory agencies. It provides a comprehensive overview of how many times government agencies in the U.S. at the federal, state and local levels have asked for information about our business or riders and drivers.
Has any information been excluded from this report?
This report does not cover information we share in research partnerships with academics, information shared with the consent of a rider or driver, information we’ve voluntarily provided for city planning purposes. In these cases, we make sure the data is anonymized and only shared in aggregated form. We may also share data proactively with law enforcement to protect people who use Uber and our company. You can find more details in our privacy statements here.
Are you planning to disclose information about requests outside of the U.S.?
We hope to do so.
Regulatory reporting requirements
What does it mean when you say you’ve pushed back on a regulatory reporting requirement?
When regulatory agencies ask for more information than is necessary to fulfill their obligations—or information that is commercially or personally sensitive—we seek to narrow our response. This may involve negotiations with the regulatory agency, and in some cases have required defending ourselves in legal proceedings before the agency or in court.
Do regulators tell you why they need the information or what they do with it?
Not always. But we do ask for this information to ensure that data requests are limited to legitimate regulatory purposes.
Do regulatory agencies disclose this information to other parties?
We have attempted to limit agencies from disclosing commercially or personally sensitive information. But agencies may disregard our requests and complaints, collecting and exposing far more data than necessary to fulfill their obligations. For instance, this data can be exposed when regulatory agencies receive freedom of information requests and respond by producing data we shared with them. In addition, agencies occasionally inadvertently disclose the confidential information in their possession.
Do taxis have the same reporting requirements?
Only in some cases. Taxis are not always bound by the same agencies or regulations as other regulated transportation companies. Depending on the location, the authorities and rules that apply to each type of company may vary.
Why are state and local regulators separate from airport regulators in your report?
State and local regulators have very different objectives from airport authorities. State and local regulators, like public utility commissions, are responsible for ensuring that regulated transportation companies operate in accordance with the applicable regulations, including those governing safety. Airport authorities often defer to state and/or local regulations but may require additional data requirements that allow them to track and count the number of vehicles on their property.
How are reporting requirements for airports determined?
Regulated transportation companies agree to airport rules as part of the permitting process. Each airport authority independently determines what information is required to report to them.
Why haven’t you pushed back on airport reporting requirements?
Many airport agreements require the disclosure of limited trip data in order to operate within the airport area.
Do airports care about which products people are using (e.g. uberX vs. uberBLACK)?
Yes, some ask that information is broken out by product type or the regulatory framework each vehicle is operating under.
Do airports get the same information from taxis, limousine or livery providers?
Yes. The information airports request and receive from taxis, limousines and livery providers is generally consistent with what is disclosed in this report.
Do airports disclose the information they receive to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)?
Airport authorities do not tell us about what they do with the information we provide.
Law enforcement requests
Why do you get requests from law enforcement agencies?
During a criminal investigation, law enforcement agencies may ask us for information about riders or drivers that is relevant to the investigation. Our dedicated team of experts, who are trained to manage these requests, work to ensure that any information we disclose is consistent with our policies and applicable law.
What does Uber do when it receives a request for rider or driver information?
Uber is committed to protecting the privacy and security of our riders and drivers. With limited exceptions like emergency situations, we require valid and sufficient legal process from official government agencies before we disclose any information about our customers. When we receive a request from law enforcement, we review it to ensure it satisfies legal requirements and will reject, or limit its scope otherwise. Among other things, requests must be narrowly tailored to a legitimate law enforcement need; we object to overly broad, vague or unreasonable requests.
Does Uber always require law enforcement agencies to go through legal process to obtain information about riders and drivers?
In non-emergency situations, we require legal process before we disclose any information about drivers or riders to law enforcement. In emergency situations—for example, when there is an imminent threat of harm to a rider or driver—Uber works expeditiously with law enforcement to ensure the safety of our riders and drivers. Sometimes these scenarios demand that we provide information without requiring legal process in advance. In those cases, we require law enforcement to follow up with the appropriate legal process for the information provided. We also proactively refer matters to law enforcement when we believe that a rider or driver is engaged in criminal activity while using the Uber app or posing a threat to a rider, driver or our business.
What are law enforcement requests that Uber receives generally about?
A large number of the law enforcement requests we receive are related to fraud investigations or the use of stolen credit cards. Since we move people from A to B, we also respond to requests about rider or driver safety and ensure that law enforcement officers get the information they need through the appropriate legal channels in a timely fashion.
Do you report information about U.S. national security requests?
We have not received any requests issued under the provisions of national security statutes.
For all other information, including what information law enforcement agencies can get with different types of legal process, and our policies on user notice and emergency cases, please see our law enforcement guidelines.