Ride Hailing

What you need to know:

Ride hailing and micro-mobility companies (scooters, bikes, etc.) have a host of geolocation data on you from pick-up/drop off locations when utilizing its service.

To date these companies have not monetized this data with third parties but there exists speculation that they may do so in the near future. Especially since the business model of these companies has generally not proven to be profitable yet, which may push them to look for alternative revenue streams.

Although these companies do not currently sell your data to third parties, there have still been multiple high profile data scandals including cases of employees of large ride-hailing companies spying on customers, another where personal information of some 25 million customers were obtained by hackers and one data leak instance where real time location of customers were accessible publicly.

Finally, law enforcement have increasingly requested and obtained rider data from ride hailing servicing and transportation officials of one city are even fighting to require scooter companies to share information about user trips in real time.

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Beyond location data, video and location recordings of your trips may also be collected. Ride hailing companies generally allow their drivers to use recording equipment in vehicles as long as they fully disclose to riders they are being recorded and it’s in compliance with local laws.

Publishing these recording is against their rules, but there have been many instances where drivers have shared these videos online and on social media. There was even one instance where a driver was live broadcasting rides on streaming services.

Furthermore, one ride hailing service has begun allowing drivers and passengers to record audio through its app during rides as a safety and dispute resolution measure. These recordings cannot be directly accessed by the driver or rider but if selected by either the driver or rider can be sent to employees of the company for review.

Learn More:

Speculation on the future monetization of Uber’s data

Scandals: Uber spying on customers, Lyft spying on customers, Uber data breach, Jump data leak

How police are using ride hailing data, and how Uber/Lyft is fighting the city of LA over sharing real time scooter data

Uber and Lyft’s driver recording policy and instances of videos being shared and broadcasted

Uber recording audio of rides through its app

What to do:

For the two largest ride hailing services (Uber and Lyft), there is no way to delete your historical data outside of deleting your account. You can find instructions here on how to delete Uber and here for Lyft.