Los Angeles is pumping the brakes on scooter companies that won’t tell it what part of the city you’re wheeling around. From a report: Last September, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation said it would require all scooter companies to provide real-time location data on the vehicles to help with city planning purposes. The data is collected by GPS on the scooters. The requirement raised privacy concerns because sensitive data would be handled by the city government. The government partners with data aggregators, like Remix, to analyze that information. Privacy advocacy groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Technology and Democracy, have publicly spoken out about these data requests.
It still isn’t clear how long LADOT retains the location data, and there aren’t public details on what aggregators can do with that information. What is clear: Companies that don’t share the data won’t be allowed to put as many scooters on the streets as those that do. Companies that declined to provide the data were given a 30-day provisional permit to operate in LA, which were handed out last week, while those that agreed to hand over anonymized location data received permits for a full year.
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