Uber Faces Lawsuit By British Drivers

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A group of Uber drivers in England have filed a lawsuit against the hail fighting company for alleged failure to provide access to data and an explanation of algorithmic management.

The lawsuit brought by the Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU), a UK-based group, has been filed with the District Court of Amsterdam, where Uber's European headquarters are located. According to the 10-page complaint, Uber violates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union, which regulates the protection of privacy in the 28-nation block by not providing the information.

Drivers from London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow demand the right to have their data sent directly to their union for collective bargaining. They ask the court to order Uber to comply with the data protection law or to fine EUR 10,000 for each day that it continues to violate the law.

"Drivers must have full visibility into algorithmic management and full access to their data so they can build real collective bargaining power in their union," said Azeem Hanif, chairman of ADCU, in a statement. "Once again, Uber breaks the law and exploits poorly paid workers."

The complaint argues that Uber has not given full access to its personal information or sufficient information for automated decision making and profiling in the Uber Driver app and other systems used by the company.

The union will also ensure that Uber drivers are subject to performance monitoring at work, and provide evidence of how the company “tagged” driver profiles accordingly with categories such as late arrival, missed trips, canceled drivers, and inappropriate behavior.

Uber insisted that the drivers are self-employed and not under the control of management.

ADCU has launched a CrowdJustice campaign and appeals to all Uber drivers and Uber Eats couriers in the UK and EU to take part in joint actions to request their data.

The lawsuit comes a day before ADCU takes Uber to the UK Supreme Court as Uber appeals against the landmark 2016 labor rights ruling.

Lawyers have their hands full. Last month, California state lawyers said they wanted to ask a judge to tell Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as employees rather than contractors. A hearing is scheduled for August 6th.

In response, Uber said that most drivers prefer independence as a contractor. The company said that more than 158,000 Uber drivers in California would lose their jobs if the reclassification took place.

In March, Uber filed a federal lawsuit against the Los Angeles Department of Transportation accusing the agency of violating the fourth change to the U.S. Constitution by requiring records to be handed over without a warrant.

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