Uber's transparency report: Data of 12mln people passed to law enforcement in 2015

© Kai Pfaffenbach
In the last six months of 2015, Uber received 415 requests from US law enforcement for passenger or driver data related to criminal probes, the ride-hailing company said in a transparency report. Uber gave US agencies data on 12 million people overall.

The company "fully complied" with nearly 32 percent of law enforcement requests and "partially complied" with nearly 53 percent, while 15 percent of requests were withdrawn by law enforcement or the company found no data to offer, according to its first transparency report, which includes information the company gave to comply with transportation regulations and airport reporting requirements.

"The report shows that we comply with the majority of law enforcement requests, while ensuring they go through the proper legal process," Uber said in a blog post.

The company said 368 of total law enforcement requests were from state agencies, while 47 came from federal entities. The company said in nearly 85 percent of total requests, "some data was produced."

Within those 415 requests, Uber received 267 subpoenas, 90 search warrants, 30 "emergency" requests, and 28 court orders.

As for regulatory demands, Uber received 33 requests in the six months detailed, which involved trip data for more than 12 million riders and drivers. The company said it "frequently tries to narrow the scope of these demands, though our efforts are typically rebuffed."

"Of course regulators will always need some amount of data to be effective, just like law enforcement," Uber said in the blog post. "But in many cases they send blanket requests without explaining why the information is needed, or how it will be used. And while this kind of trip data doesn’t include personal information, it can reveal patterns of behavior—and is more than regulators need to do their jobs."

The company said it did not receive a National Security Letter or FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) order, which are typically reserved for national security or intelligence investigations involving communication service providers.