Uber fined for not giving data on California taxis

Uber has been fined $7.3 million for failing to provide Californian authorities with details of how many ride requests it gets from users.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) insists that all companies offering ride hailing services provide it with detailed data including the originating ZIP code, the cost of trips, details about any accidents drivers were involved in while representing the company and the percentage of ride requests fulfilled.

Other companies required to provide the authorities with such information include Lyft and Sidecar, who were both also asked to hand over the data in September 2013.

Despite being given a year to hand over the information, Uber missed the deadline last year, only providing some of the information listed, and it now has 30 days to pay the fine, otherwise it will risk losing its licence completely in the US state.

"This rulingand the associated fineare deeply disappointing," an Uber spokesperson told Tech Crunch. "We will appeal the decision as Uber has already provided substantial amounts of data to the California Public Utilities Commission, information we have provided elsewhere with no complaints.

"Going further risks compromising the privacy of individual riders as well as driver-partners. These CPUC requests are also beyond the authority of the Commission and will not improve public safety."

The CPUC said it asks private ride-hailing companies to provide this information so it can ensure services were provided in a "non-discriminatory manner" that "promotes public safety."

Uber has been involved in a number of discriminatory claims over the last few years, including reports that the company refused to allow blind people with service dogs to use its service. However, Uber rejected the claims and said it sacks any driver who has such views.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.