Uber files federal lawsuit against Los Angeles over location data privacy

One to watch. Who ‘owns’ location data about you?…:

Uber’s legal battle with Los Angeles is heating up, as the ride-hailing company looks to take its data privacy dispute to federal court. The company’s scooter service has been kicked out of the city after Uber refused to provide the Los Angeles Department of Transportation with real-time location data on its riders.

The lawsuit filed on Monday addresses the LADOT’s requests for real-time location data, a policy the city instituted in September 2018 for scooter companies. The data requests are a part of the city’s “Mobility Data Specification” plan — which cities like Seattle, Austin, Texas and Louisville, Kentucky have also adopted.

Governments are requesting scooter location data because they believe it can help with city planning and also prevent tech companies from running roughshod over public roads, as ride-hailing companies did during its boom.

Uber provides several cities with its scooter location data, but argues that Los Angeles’s request goes too far by asking for real-time information. Location data is sensitive information that can reveal a person’s workplace, hobbies, relationships and habits, and when it’s logged and tracked in real time, it raises even more privacy concerns.


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