Changes are effective 1 October, 2019
Changes are effective 1 October, 2019

Uber’s new terms for users say it’s a ‘tech co connecting riders and drivers’

  • The revised terms describe Uber as a technology firm that has developed an app that connects users with driver who provide transportation to the user
  • The revised terms say Uber is not a transportation carrier, and does not employ any drivers

New Delhi: Uber has updated its terms and conditions for its customers in India, notifying the changes on Monday. Contained in its communication are legal provisions pertaining to sharing of data of riders and drivers, among other aspects of the agreement. Changes are effective 1 October, 2019.

The policy was last updated in December, 2017.

The revised terms describe ‘what Uber is’ under a separate heading. “Uber is a technology company that has developed an app that connects users (riders) with driver partners who provide transportation to the user. Uber is not a transportation carrier, and does not employ any drivers," according to information available on its website.

“Users can use the Uber App to request transportation via their smartphone, the web, or via SMS. Uber users can choose from a variety of drivers available in his or her location. At the end of the ride, both the driver partner and user receive a copy of the fare receipt," it says.

While Uber did not say it explicitly, some of the new terms and conditions could be to comply with the provisions of the new Motor Vehicles Act.

According to Atul Pandey, partner at Khaitan & Co., the fact that Uber specifically mentioned ‘what Uber is’ could be related to the recent amendment in the motor vehicles act, where the government has for the first time recognized what an ‘aggregator’ is.

The new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, recognized and defined aggregators as digital intermediaries or marketplaces, which can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation. The Act received President’s assent on August 9.

Among other changes, Uber has added details of what type of legal process the company requires before producing any user or driver’s information. In case of non-US law enforcement, the company said it will disclose business records if a valid US court order is produced.

“We disclose business records only in accordance with our terms of service and applicable law. A valid US court order (via mutual legal assistance treaty, mutual legal assistance agreement, or letter rogatory) may be required to compel disclosure of certain records," the updated policy says.

“The changes has been made keeping in mind the proposed changes in the data privacy and localization laws that the Indian government is expected to come with. Since Uber is a US-headquarted company, data pertaining to driver and users is stored in the US server," Pandey said.

However, it is unclear whether the terms and conditions have been updated only for India or at a global level. A questionnaire sent to Uber remained unanswered at the time of publishing.

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