Uber announced that it will handle the anonymized trip data to the city governments in order to “provide new insights to help manage urban growth, relieve traffic congestion, expand public transportation, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The car booking app made this first kind of deal in which it will provide city officials with the reports about every trip taken with Uber in the city.
Uber actually has the data of these patterns better than many cities do, the reason why cities are eager to attain this data. Cities already gather such data New York City for example, gets this info from their battalion of yellow cabs.
First the company plans to partner with Boston, sharing the quarter trip-data with the city in a model that Uber says will become its national data-sharing policy.
The data will have time, distance, date and locations of the origins and destination for the single trip that could only be identified by the zip code to preserve privacy.
Once handed over to the cities, the data will be open to record requests which mean that local persons can access it too.
“In Boston, data is driving our conversations, our policy making and how we envision the future of our city. We are using data to change the way we deliver services and we welcome the opportunity to add to our resources. This will help us reach our transportation goals, improve the quality of our neighborhoods and allow us to think smarter, finding more innovative and creative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges.” explains Mayor Martin J. Walsh in a blog post.
In its defense, Uber has cited the privacy of its users and the intellectual property that might be gleaned from its data.