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Dutch watchdogs slap Uber with a $10.8 million fine for violating data privacy laws

Uber is getting a €10 million ($10.8 million) fine from the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) for violating data privacy laws.

In a filing today, the DPA stated that Uber did not disclose information on how it shares user data with non-European countries and for how long it keeps it.

The Dutch watchdog labeled this as an infringement of privacy regulations as European drivers are not informed about how their information is used and how it is shared with countries outside the European Economic Area.

In today’s times, we are seeing a surge in data privacy concerns as governments are taking steps to combat the violation of privacy rights. However, in some cases, even certain governments themselves may be involved in illegal buying of sensitive user data.

The DPA mentioned that Uber makes it difficult for drivers to access their data. It does not inform them on how it protects user information when sharing it with others and for how long it retains it.

According to the watchdog, the form to request user data from Uber is difficult to access as it is buried deep inside the app. If a user manages to obtain the intelligence, it is often organized in a way that is difficult to interpret.

Aleid Wolfsen, chairman of the DPA, commented on this by sharing:

“This shows that Uber put all sorts of obstacles in place that blocked drivers from exercising their right to privacy, and that is prohibited. In fact, Uber should be facilitating drivers in their rights. This is laid down by law.’

Uber’s violation of privacy laws was brought to attention by more than 170 French drivers who complained to the Ligue des droits de l’Homme et du citoyen (LDH). The LDH is a human rights organization in France that forwarded this complaint to the French data protection authorities.

However, since the corporation’s headquarters are situated in the Netherlands, the Dutch data protection authority was contacted.

The DPA clarified that the $10.8 million fine was based on the size of the organization. At the time of the complaint, the company had around 120,000 European drivers, so the fine was calculated accordingly.

While there has been no statement from Uber as of yet, the DPA highlighted that the company is taking measures to resolve the issue.

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