Uber threatened by California ban and $7.3 million fine for not supplying dataBy Dieter Holger
On Wednesday, a California judge ruled Uber, the multi-billion dollar ride-hailing business, must suspend operations within 30 days over their parent company's refusal to supply data required by 2013 legislation. Uber has already decided to appeal the ruling, but if their appeal is shot down they'll have to suspend California operations and pay a $7.3 million fine.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requires ride-sharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to present information on the number of satisfied requests from disabled individuals, people with service animals, rides given, and the dates, times, Zip Codes and charges for rides. The information requirements were laid out in the 2013 ride-hailing legislation that made the business legal. Instead of presenting specific data on disabled passengers and rides by Zip Code, Uber provided estimates on the amount of requests they received.
Uber believes they've already given enough data to the CPUC and they argue any more information would compromise the privacy of their drivers and customers. Further, Uber thinks the data requests go beyond the legal scope of the California government's legislation.
But CPUC judge Karen V. Clopton thinks the requests are warranted; she's told Uber they have 30 days to hand over the information or their California operations must cease. However, Uber is risking appealing the decision instead of complying with the court order. Depending on the results of the appeal – a process which could take months – Uber may have to pay the $7.3 million fine or stop operating in California.