Uber sent its New York City users a scary email on Wednesday.
“The government wants to know where you’re headed … on every ride,” the subject line read.
The message prompted Uber users to email New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission with their objections to new rules that require ride services to share destination information with the city. Or as Uber called it, “sensitive personal passenger data.”
“Today, the City requires Uber and other companies to hand over a lot of sensitive personal passenger data, including where you’re picked up on every trip. Now the City wants more. They’re trying to force companies to tell them where you’re dropped off, as well,” Uber wrote to users. “In other words, they want to piece together the full details of every trip you ever take. Click below to send a clear message that enough is enough.”
Clicking that button auto-filled an email to the Taxi and Limousine Commission that told the regulatory body that “My trips around town are my own business, not the government’s.” Uber sent another version of this email to users in late December.
The rules were initially put in place to combat driver fatigue. By tracking trip time, New York was hoping to prevent drivers from staying on the road for too long. Uber has cooperated on some aspects of these requirements, but now objects to providing destination information.
“We have an obligation to protect our riders’ data, especially in an age when information collected by government agencies like the TLC can be hacked, shared, misused or otherwise made public,” Uber said in a statement.
Many privacy groups have expressed their concern about these regulations as well.
But Uber has been the subject of its own recent scandal regarding privacy. A recent lawsuit alleged that Uber employees were able to track the movements of their own acquaintances — friends, family and exes — and celebrities.
Uber: More trustworthy than the government, in Uber’s book.