Saturday, April 14, 2018
Friday, April 13, 2018
Uber drivers are ditching their private hire licences with the Royal Borough and signing up for Transport for London (TfL) instead.
Greg Nelson, the council’s trading standards lead, told a meeting of the Royal Borough’s Licensing Panel on Tuesday that the switch means the council has less control over drivers operating in the area.
While Uber has an operating licence with the council, regulations do not prevent drivers signed up to the transport app from being registered with TfL but working elsewhere.
Mr Nelson said: “I’m not particularly happy with this because the whole purpose of licensing is we have some degree of control on the vehicles operating in our area.
“If Uber drivers are waiting somewhere in the Royal Borough, parked illegally, there is nothing we can do about their physical presence.”
Mr Nelson added that by relinquishing their licences, Uber drivers would not have to comply with the council’s proposed safeguarding training for Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers.
Cllr Maureen Hunt (Con, Hurley and Walthams) said: “Our taxi drivers are going to have to pay for this safeguarding training but Uber won’t.
“We have to look at the fairness of this.”
During the meeting at Maidenhead Town Hall, panel members recommended that private hire drivers registered with the council should pay for mandatory safeguarding training.
Royal Borough taxi driver Mohammed Yasin said after the meeting: “I’m not against the training but the cost shouldn’t be placed on the drivers.
“This is for public safety, why can’t the council locate funds from the public purse?
“Otherwise, this is an extra tax for taxi drivers.”
The cost of the training was discussed in part two of the meeting, which the public and press are not able to attend.
Question: What happens when you get caught out in a coverup, again?
Answer: Put more money on the table....
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday the ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc had agreed to expand its proposed settlement with the agency over charges it deceived consumers about its privacy and data security practices.
The FTC said the expansion of the proposed settlement comes after the commission learned Uber had failed to disclose a “significant” breach of consumer data that occurred in 2016 affecting nearly 50 million U.S. riders and compels Uber to disclosure future incidents.
The settlement does not impose any fines but said Uber could face civil penalties if it fails to disclose future incidents.
The FTC said Uber in November 2016 learned that intruders had again accessed consumer data the company stored on its third-party cloud provider’s servers but did not disclose the incident for a year. The company said it had no evidence of fraud tied to the data breach.
The FTC said intruders used the access key to download from Uber’s cloud storage unencrypted files containing more than 25 million names and email addresses, 22 million names and mobile phone numbers, and 600,000 names and driver’s license numbers of U.S. Uber drivers and riders.
“After misleading consumers about its privacy and security practices, Uber compounded its misconduct by failing to inform the Commission that it suffered another data breach in 2016 while the Commission was investigating the company’s strikingly similar 2014 breach,” said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen. “The strengthened provisions of the expanded settlement are designed to ensure that Uber does not engage in similar misconduct in the future.”
The FTC noted that Uber failed to disclose the breach immediately, even after it paid the intruders $100,000 through its third-party “bug bounty” program.
The new FTC order requires Uber to retain records related to bug bounty reports regarding some vulnerabilities.
In November 2017, Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi disclosed the data breach that affected 57 million people around the world and said the two individuals who led the response were no longer with Uber.
Uber Chief Legal Officer Tony West said in a statement Thursday that during his first week on the job in 2017 Uber publicly disclosed the incident.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Meanwhile, there are so many of them in London, they're smashing into each other. Another blue on blue in Greenford Road.
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Uber's chief admits the company failed to support drivers and favoured investment in growth of the business globally
Uber's chief executive has admitted that the ride-sharing company failed to support its drivers, favouring instead to invest in growing the business globally.
"We focused too much on growth but not enough on drivers," he said during a press conference.
The app, which refers to the drivers it relies on to offer its service as "partners", has been criticised for treating them unfairly and refusing to offer basic employment rights.
But Dara Khosrowshahi today said he hoped a brand new app for drivers would prove the San Francisco giant was committed to meeting their needs "at every moment of their journey".
This includes improved ways for drivers to see how much money they are making through trips and how close they are to the goal they have set, as well as an improved profile section.
Dara Khosrowshahi pictured during his time as Expedia chief executive before taking over from Travis Kalanick, who founded Uber.
The announcement followed a crushing defeat for Uber's in the European Courts of Justice, which on Tuesday morning upheld France's ban of the app, claiming that it was a criminal offence for the company to operate there.
The decision will likely have ramifications across the EU for the under-fire ride-hailing company and set a precedent across the bloc as the EU’s top court said member states could use criminal law to “prohibit and punish” illegal transport activities without telling the European Commission first.
Uber France argued that it should be classified as an “information society service” rather than a taxi company, which judges rejected.
The brand new Uber app for drivers Credit: Uber
Such services qualify for EU protection designed to boost innovation, which require national governments to notify the commission before taking action against tech companies. The law was written before Brussels’ attitude towards US tech giants hardened over data protection and concerns over how little tax the companies pay.
The French government banned the UberPop service because it broke a 2014 law prohibiting taxi platforms from using unlicensed drivers carrying fewer than 10 passengers. Uber’s lawyers argued the failure to notify the commission should cancel the French ban and appealed the decision.
French judges referred the mater to the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice, which said Uber did not qualify as an information society service.
In December 2017, EU judges said that Uber was a transport company and not an information platform in a similar case involving Uber Spain.
A Uber spokeswoman said: "This case is about whether a French law from 2014 should have been pre-notified to the European Commission and related to peer-to-peer services, which we stopped in 2015. As our new CEO has said, it is appropriate to regulate services such as Uber and so we will continue the dialogue with cities across Europe.”
"HMRC has been waiting to see which way the ECJ went on this test case to determine whether it should also consider Uber as a VAT supplier of transport services. The likely VAT liability for Uber in the UK could be over £40 million in back taxes, and a 20% VAT rise in rides going forward. Action by HMRC is now highly likely," said Richard Asquith, global indirect tax expert at Avalara.
Damien Geradin, a partner at Brussels law firm Euclid Law, said the decision was a missed opportunity. "The pre-notification procedure aims to protect players active in the digital sector against discriminatory or disproportionate rules," he said.
Tuesday’s ruling is the latest setback for the controversial US company, which is appealing Transport for London’s decision to strip it of its operating licence.
The capital’s transport authority plans to introduce regulations limiting the hours ride-hailing app employees can drive.
Uber has been controversial in other EU countries, such as Belgium, where the UberPop service is banned but protests against the firm continue. The company now only works with professional drivers in a majority of EU countries.
In March, the company reached a settlement with the family of a woman killed by an Uber Technologies self-driving vehicle in Arizona.
Despite the controversies, the service remains popular.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT
The decline and fall of the Taxi trade trade continues.
The following figures are for week ending 08-04-18
Private hire driver licences
113,596 down 49
117 are new
Private hire vehicle licences
87,702 down 219
332 are new
Taxi driver licences
0 are new
Taxi vehicle licences
9 are new.
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