Passenger Privacy Act of 2015

Passenger Privacy Act of 2015

Sacramento, CA—Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) was joined today by Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California, to call attention to Assembly Bill (AB) 886, which will enhance consumer privacy protections by limiting the use of personally identifiable information and travel data that is collected and retained by transportation network companies (TNCs).  The legislation is in response to recent reports and a growing number of headlines that have detailed the potential for misuse of personal consumer data by some TNCs.

“Limiting the data collected by ridesharing mobile applications does not reduce the functionality and availability to consumers that use and love them,” said Assemblymember Chau.  “On the contrary, this legislation is not about limiting the consumer, it is about giving the consumer ownership of their privacy, which can be the subject of abuse under certain circumstances. It’s time to put the consumers in the driver seat when it comes to who controls their personal information, instead of having them take a backseat and kicking their privacy to the curb.”

The taxi and passenger transportation industry have been revolutionized by the prevalence of smartphones and ride-hailing mobile applications. Consumers utilize the services of TNCs through applications on smartphones and similar devices. TNC businesses have grown rapidly. The use of smartphones to request a ride, and their continued use in the course of travel has resulted in the collection of a significant amount of personal information and data on each user. This data details where consumers live and work, where they go and when, as well as how much the trip cost and how it was paid for. This detailed information provides new and intrusive opportunities for corporate surveillance and for unwelcome marketing purposes.

“Passenger privacy is a right that should be protected by law, not by voluntary corporate policies that can change at any time. AB 886 will protect consumers from unwarranted data collection by big transportation businesses,” Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California said.

The Consumer Federation of California is sponsoring the legislation, which is also supported by California NOW, California Public Interest Research Group, Common Sense Media, Consumer Action, Consumer Watchdog, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, The Utility Reform Network (TURN), and California ACLU, among others.

San Francisco entrepreneur Peter Sims whose privacy was violated at the hands of a TNC and whose incident was documented in the media is also a supporter of AB 886.

Assemblymember Ed Chau represents the 49th Assembly District, comprised of the communities of Alhambra, Arcadia, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City and portions of Montebello, and South El Monte.

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Fact Sheet

Text of Legislation