By Dave Sutton

Uber is refusing to provide California and New York City with its trip data. By doing this, Uber prevents crucial oversight that could help remove drivers who assault passengers and prohibit drivers from discriminating against certain neighborhoods or passengers with disabilities.

Uber has refused to furnish its data—date and time of trip, pickup location and drivers’ license numbers—to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission. Meanwhile, its competitors, Lyft and Sidecar, have each provided such data to California.

As a result, a CPUC judge is threatening to revoke Uber’s license to operate in California, and the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission temporarily suspended five of Uber’s six operations. Uber is currently refusing to turn over trip data in California and to New York City, despite previously providing the same information when it originally entered the New York market.

New York officials have characterized the data as necessary to ensure “adequate protection and public safety.” For example, in the absence of such data, if the New York City TLC receives a report of a driver harassing a passenger, it would be forced to request an affidavit from Uber concerning the driver’s identity. In the past, New York officials have waited months before receiving such information from Uber.

At the same time that Uber is refusing to provide this information to public officials Uber has infamously used data to track customers’ alleged one night stands and to show off to investors its capability to spy on passengers’ movements.

Regulators rely on trip data to make certain drivers aren’t discriminating against certain neighborhoods or against people with disabilities such as those who use wheelchairs or people who are blind and rely on the assistance of service dogs. Uber has already generated controversy due to its drivers refusing to service passengers with disabilities. The National Federation of the Blind has sued Uber for refusing rides to the blind and putting a dog in the trunk of a vehicle.

“Cities can’t manage what they can’t measure,” said Mike Fogarty, President of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association. “If Uber refuses to provide this critical data required by the authorities in its most lucrative markets, then Uber certainly won’t provide ride details to smaller cities. This refusal continues a pattern of defiance that repeatedly places the public at risk.”


‘Who’s Driving You?’ is a public safety campaign designed to educate the public about the dangers of unlicensed transportation companies. It is an initiative of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association, an international non-profit trade association whose membership consists of 1,100 licensed transportation companies. For more information, visit www.WhosDrivingYou.org, follow us on Twitter (@WhosDrivingYou) and follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/WhosDrivingYou)


Rockville, MD—More than half of US states have now issued insurance warnings about so called “ridesharing” services such as uberX and Lyft.

After compiling an updated list, the ‘Who’s Driving You?’ campaign has found that 28 states plus the District of Columbia have issued such warnings.

New states that had previously not been reported to have issued the warnings include Alaska, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire and Washington which join a growing chorus of insurance experts across the nation warning consumers against dangerous gaps in liability coverage for those who work for such “ridesharing” companies.

The new additions, with excerpts from the warnings, include:

Alaska—“The Division wants Alaskans to know that these programs may result in a denial of insurance for participating vehicle owners, drivers, and passengers. Personal auto insurance is not intended to cover individuals who use their vehicles for commercial purposes.”

Hawaii—“The Insurance Division recommends that car owners check with their insurers before participating in a car sharing program to determine if there is any impact on their own personal motor vehicle insurance policies.”

Indiana—“Your personal auto insurance carrier could cancel your insurance with them if they discover you are using your personal vehicle for commercial use. And, without the proper coverage, you could find you are being held responsible for any and all damages that occur to your vehicle, any other vehicle involved, and injuries your passengers incur.”

Kentucky—“Both the drivers and the passengers should be aware that a standard personal automobile insurance policy does not cover losses when the vehicle is used for commercial purposes. Some of the company policies are “excess” coverage and would not pay unless the driver’s personal auto insurance paid to the limits of the policy.”

Maine— ”While some TMCs purchase liability protection for their services, questions remain about how coverage would be applied in the event of an accident.”

New Hampshire—“Obtain a copy of the policy and ask their agent or insurance company to discern whether it covers ride share activities. Find out who would be responsible if they were injured and whether insurance coverage would be available. The Department urges passengers in these situations not to waive their rights.”

While some TNCs purchase liability protection for their services, questions remain about how coverage would be applied in the event of an accident.

Washington—“Drivers would need a supplemental policy to cover the commercial use of their vehicles.”


The Nebraska Departments of Insurance and Motor Vehicles urge caution before signing up for internet services that connect drivers, riders, and vehicle owners for car sharing and ride sharing. These fee based services may pose hidden risks if the rider, driver, or vehicle does not have insurance coverage for that activity.

If an accident occurs while someone else is riding with you or driving your car, the typical private passenger automobile policies may not provide coverage for any liability incurred. Those who ride share with passengers or own a car share vehicle may need commercial coverage.

Drivers who car share may want to get their own “non-owned vehicle” policy if they drive other people’s vehicles to be sure they are protected. Typically, a commercial automobile
insurance policy is necessary to provide a vehicle for rent or to transport property or passengers for compensation.

A traditional car pooling arrangement by friends or neighbors who share the cost of gasoline or take turns driving is not the situation being addressed in this alert. Those types of arrangements typically are not a problem.

The Department of Insurance and Department of Motor Vehicles suggest that you visit with your insurance company or insurance agent before you sign up for car sharing or ride sharing. Evaluate your exposure:

  • Review carefully any type of agreement involving car sharing or ride sharing.

  • Before you decide to rely on insurance that is provided by others, be sure to get a copy of the policy and ask an insurance professional to make certain it covers all of your exposures.

  • If using such a service, evaluate who may be responsible if you are injured and whether coverage will be available.

  • Talk to your insurance company or agent to see what is and isn’t covered. The exclusions in your personal automobile policy for this type of use will likely apply to all types of coverage including:

    • liability to third persons,

    • uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage,

    • medical payments for people using or occupying your vehicle,

    • comprehensive physical damage coverage,

    • collision physical damage coverage, and

    • limits on the insurance company’s duty to defend you in a lawsuit.

  • If the car sharing or ride sharing service provides some type of “umbrella” insurance, find out if that coverage includes the duty to defend you in a lawsuit.

Exercising caution and reviewing your insurance program may go a long way to protecting your financial well being.



Yes, it’s true. Uber, the company that loves to talk about how focused it is on safety for its passengers, has made sure that it is fully protected from lawsuits by injured passengers. In its “terms and conditions”, that’s the legal contract that no one reads but which everyone must agree to before they ride, Uber has some eye popping phrases that amount to you, their cherished customer, giving away all of your rights when things go wrong. Here’s a sampling:

The company...does not intend to provide transportation services or act in any way as a transportation carrier, and has no responsibility or liability for any transportation services provided to you...

“...you agree that you shall defend, indemnify and hold the Company, its licensors and each such party’s parent organizations, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, Users, employees, attorneys and agents harmless from and against any and all claims, costs, damages, losses, liabilities and expenses”

“You acknowledge and agree that you and Company are each waiving the right to a trial by jury or to participate as a plaintiff...in any purported class action or representative proceeding.”

And of course, our personal favorite:

“You may be exposed to transportation that is potentially dangerous, offensive, harmful to minors, unsafe or otherwise objectionable, and...you use the application and the service at your own risk.”

The Frightening Fine Print in Uber’s Terms and Conditions August 1, 2014, six months ago.

To read the full text of the frightening fine print go to www.uber.com/legal/usa/terms






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