Uber, the most popular ride-sharing company in the world, has won a legal battle that now allows it to operate in the United Kingdom. And not only are the residents of major cities such as London happy over the decision but so are the UK police force.
This is because, according to a report in The Times, Uber shares a wealth of otherwise private information with the police. Not only does Uber share user info with the police but they also share it with the National Crime Agency and the counter-terrorism department.
Due to this, police were largely advocates for Uber's legal battle to operate in the UK. Prior, London officials banned Uber twice. However, the latest ruling assures that Uber will operate in the UK and likely share a lot of information along the way.
Police have long asserted that child sex trafficking rings operate via local transportation, such as bus lines and cabs. They believe that Uber's privacy sharing ways will help reduce instances of criminal behavior.
Of course, when the idea of a ride-sharing app sharing our information is served up in such a philanthropic way, it's difficult to see the downside to data-sharing.
But it's a slippery slope, as James Farrar, the head of the App Drivers & Couriers Union explains.
“The rideshare giant is particularly vulnerable to undue pressure from police and regulatory authorities to compromise the personal data protection rights of their drivers, couriers, and passengers.”
Directly talking about the data-sharing, he followed up saying such sharing is, “disproportionate, unjustified, and a threat to the civil liberties of drivers, couriers, and customers.”
Always understand what your mobile apps share in terms of data. Turn off all sharing that's not essential to the apps function in your smartphone settings.