Menu
Uber will fight to keep its Boston ride data private

Uber will fight to keep its Boston ride data private

Uber's data is a trade secret doesn't have to be publicly disclosed under Massachusetts law

Earlier this month, Uber agreed to provide Boston city officials a wealth of ride data to help them make better planning decisions -- but it will go to considerable lengths to ensure that data is not made public.

The data, which includes anonymous pick-off and drop-off locations for each Uber ride, contains confidential commercial and financial information that prohibits the city from sharing it publicly, according to Uber's agreement with the city.

While citizens are often entitled access to public records, Uber and the city agreed that the data it provided contains trade secrets, which making it exempt from public disclosure under a section of Massachusetts Public Records Law.

To protect the data, Uber even agreed to cover Boston's legal bills if the city is ever sued for access to the information, the agreement states. In instances where judges compel the city to hand over data they deem isn't a trade secret or confidential, Uber will be notified by the city so it can fight the request in court.

Uber didn't respond to a request for comment on the agreement, which was obtained by The Boston Globe under a public records request. But with rivals like Lyft and Sidecar nipping at its heels, it's not hard to imagine why it would want the data kept secret.

It includes data about tens of thousands of Uber rides in the city each day, including the wait time for ride-share vehicles and approximate pick-up and drop-off times.

Conclusions from the data can be used in reports and presentations that the city plans to release publicly, and Uber is working with the city to determine what details from the data the city can share.

Uber announced earlier this month that it would provide Boston with the data in a first of its kind deal for the company.

The information should help with transportation planning, parking analysis and understanding how residents move around the city, the company said at the time. By volunteering the information, Uber could also gain political capital at a time when governments are trying to regulate its service.

Uber will provide the data quarterly and Boston should have received its first batch by Jan. 22, according to the agreement.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Uberconsumer electronicssmartphonesinternet

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments