Uber drivers go to court: they want to know how they are assigned to travel

Two British Uber drivers went to court in the Netherlands to try to get the ride-sharing company to explain how it uses driver data. Both drivers want to prove that the company producing the ride is not only neutralizing requests for it, according to the ADCU (App Drivers & Couriers Union). This organization is an alliance of drivers and couriers who work through applications.

Uber drivers are taking unprecedented international legal action to demand access to their data and transparency versus algorithmic management. ADCU will present evidence of Uber’s use of hidden driver profiles with a classification of their performance. Uber drivers and Uber Eats couriers in the UK and EEA are invited to join group events. Crowdjustice campaign launched.

Drivers want to prove Uber is an employer. To do this, they need everything Uber knows about them and what Uber’s algorithms do with their data.

When a user requests a ride, the app chooses which driver to send the request to. It is not clear what criteria Uber sets or what information it has about drivers and how it uses this data to distribute the app. Drivers want to find out how they are assigned to travel.

Drivers have the right to find out what information Uber collects about them and what it does with it under the General Data Protection Regulation.

Soon, courts may view Uber as more than a middleman, as it makes proactive decisions about who to delegate work to.

Uber drivers around the world continually claim that the company is setting prices too low, making it difficult to make a profit. In setting prices and deciding which drivers the delegated business gets, Uber plays a role very similar to that of an employer.

Drivers have already tried to get their data from Uber, but they say that all they received was a chain of incomprehensible letters.

If UK drivers are successful, it could mean that the company will have to pay workers for the time they work, rather than for when they travel.

A Dutch court ruling is expected later this week.

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