On 11 March, the district court in Amsterdam – where Uber’s European headquarters is based – ruled that the tech giant must provide two British complainants, in the two months following its decision, with access to the data it used as a basis for blocking them from the mobile application. According to the court, the move to block the drivers from the app was insufficiently transparent and the drivers concerned had not been able to verify the accuracy and lawfulness of the processing of their personal data. The court rejected Uber’s request for the sentence not to be enforced, in view of a potential breach of business secrecy, in particular with regard to its anti-fraud process, which was not sufficiently demonstrated by the company. However, the decision was not a total victory for the drivers, as two of the four plaintiffs saw all their claims dismissed and the other two did not obtain any compensation, as the judgement considered that the evidence of immaterial damage caused to them was insufficiently substantiated. In a second judgment, the court dismissed all claims from the complainant drivers, supported by the UK’s App Drivers & Couriers Union, for access to personal data used by the application, notably on the grounds of passenger data protection. In a statement, the ADCU says it is “concerned” that the ruling may “interfere with the right of workers to access employment rights, to the extent they are frustrated in their ability to validate the fare basis and compare earnings and operating costs”. The UK trade union also considers this decision to be an impediment to the possibility of collective bargaining for the drivers and therefore wants to appeal the decision. Uber, meanwhile, welcomed the ruling. The firm told TechCrunch: “This is a crucial decision. The Court has confirmed Uber’s dispatch system does not equate to automated decision making, and that we provided drivers with the data they are entitled to.” Several complaints against Uber concerning drivers’ access to their data, on behalf of 99 such individuals, are currently being looked at in France.
Uber ordered to share with two UK drivers the data used as basis for blocking their accounts
Planet Labor, 15 March 2021, n°12415 - www.planetlabor.com