The e-taxi company follows in the footsteps of the countless tech companies to publish data relating to requests for user data over the past few years, including Twitter, Reddit, Etsy, Pinterest, Verizon, Facebook, and Google.
“Uber receives law enforcement requests for information related to criminal investigations, and may provide information about specific trips, riders or drivers in response,” the report says. “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.”
Uber’s data shows that 415 requests in total were made between July and December 2015, covering 408 rider accounts and 205 drivers — note that some requests cover more than one user account. The company said that around 85 percent of account data requested led to some form of disclosure, whether in full or in part.
Uber also breaks the data down into type of request — for example, if it’s a subpoena, search warrant, court order, or “emergency.” As this table shows, subpoenas were the most common legal process used for requesting information.
Uber has faced many legal and regulatory wrangles over the years, and the company has perhaps gone one step further than its counterparts in the technology realm by breaking out requests made by local transport regulators. It said that while only 33 individual requests were made in the last half of 2015, this affected almost 12 million riders and 600,000 drivers.
While this data offers some additional insight into the extent that authorities ask for tech companies’ help, it’s worth noting here that this only applies to the U.S., which is a fraction of Uber’s global presence. The company said that it hopes to disclose data request information from its international markets in the future, though it gave no indication as to when that would happen or why it isn’t included here.