A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Department of Transportation about its collection of real-time data on e-scooter riders and other micromobility users.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation was originally sued by the American Civil Liberties Union over requiring e-scooter companies to provide real-time data to the city. According to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the information is crucial for mobility oversight, as it ensures equitable access to micromobility.
On February 23, 2021, U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Fee dismissed the case in the Central District of California. In her dismissal, she said she understood the concern “with the unprecedented breadth and scope of defendants’ location data collection. But that alone does not mean it violates their constitutional or statutory privacy rights. This is an issue that may be more appropriately addressed as a matter of public policy, which is not for this court to opine.”
The dismissal of this case follows Uber’s withdrawn suit against the Los Angeles Department of Transportation over similar concerns about the sharing of real-time location data of its JUMP e-scooter and e-bike riders. Uber filed the lawsuit in the same court and claimed that the Los Angeles Department of Transportation unlawfully implemented Mobility Data Specification, which gave the city access to coordinates of riders in real-time.
Uber withdrew the lawsuit because Lime acquires its bike and scooter business; however, Uber reiterated at the time that “mass collection of precise geolocation data by government agencies deeply compromises consumer privacy, and we applaud the growing number of organizations opposing this.”
While the Los Angeles Department of Transportation still has the ability to track and store data from electric scooter and electric bicycle users, it’s likely that companies and workers’ rights groups will continue to advocate against that type of data-sharing.
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