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The Power of Information

Ridesharing giant Uber is trying to keep some information to itself, and that apparently isn’t pleasing the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. According to an article on Bloomberg Technology, the issue is data about the address and times of drop-offs. The city is arguing that it needs the information to prevent drivers from getting dangerously tired and also because of citywide limits of 60 hours per week of driving time per driver.

Power of information - Uber article

Uber is arguing that sharing this information would constitute an invasion of privacy and that the city had previously accidentally shared data about cab rides. To underline the matter, the service tried to persuade their New York area customers to take to Twitter to criticize the mayor’s stance. The writer of the article points out, however, that Uber might be living in a proverbial glass house when it comes to matter of privacy, as it been under some fire for applications that seek to track customers’ movements after rides have ended. The writer notes that there have been charges of improper use of information from former employees as well.

As personal injury specialists, we obviously view these matters through the prism of public safety. Driver fatigue is a serious problem whether someone is driving for Uber, Lyft, a private truck or cab company or, of course, as an ordinary motorist. It seems understandable to us that a city might want to regulate the number of hours that drivers are working for the sake of public safety.

Of course, Uber and Lyft likely believe that they are already taking sufficient precautions to prevent undue driver fatigue. They are also certainly fully aware of the money they are spending to provide their drivers with roughly $1 million in insurance coverage for liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. From the point of view of the rest of us, that might be good to know after we’ve been injured but, of course, we’d all prefer not to be injured because of driver fatigue in the first place!

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