Three new bills have come up before the California Assembly specifically
aimed at transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft. These
bills continue the trend of legislation proposed to deal with this new industry.
The first bill, AB886, now pending in Sacramento, would force Uber, Lyft
and other similar companies to follow strict privacy rules regarding passengers.
The bill specifies that these companies may not disclose data on passengers
other than to combat fraud and other crimes, and that these companies
have to destroy a customer’s personal information when their account
This bill presents an exciting first step in protecting the privacy of
individuals who forced, as part of the conditions of using a smart phone
app, to divulge and permit the limitless disbursement of personal and
financial information. California is once again leading the way on this
issue, which is now getting national attention.
The second bill, AB24, also now pending in Sacramento, would increase the
background check requirements for companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar.
The bill would make fingerprint background checks mandatory for drivers,
and would require these companies to institute random drug and alcohol
testing of drivers, and to receive immediate notifications from the DMV
when drivers are arrested or convicted of serious driving violations,
such as driving under the influence. This bill is unsurprisingly controversial,
with several advocacy groups and Uber and Lyft coming out against it.
Yet it presents an important step in terms of ensuring passenger safety
and preventing serious incidents of driver on passenger violence that
have occurred recently.
The final bill, AB1360, would legalize on-demand carpools. Companies such
as Uber and Lyft already have on-demand carpools where several passengers
may share a ride for a discounted fare. This bill is obviously supported
by the transportation network companies, and it demonstrates that legislatures
and other governing bodies are finally making shifts to deal with the
changing ride-sharing industry.
All three of these bills, along with other laws and regulations that have
been passed or are in the works, show that the legal landscape in this
new industry is constantly changing. If you or someone have been injured
by an Uber, Lyft, or other transportation network company driver, it is
critical that you retain an attorney who is familiar with and up-to-date
on all laws and regulations that might affect your claim.