Uber Technologies was slapped with a $7.3 million fine and a possible suspension of business license on Wednesday for failing to provide California Public Utilities Commission with information on such as “business practices, including accident details and how accessible vehicles are to disabled riders.”
“They had a year to comply with these regulations, and didn’t do it,” Constance Gordon was quoted on behalf of CPUC.
Judge Karen V. Clopton handed down the ruling as Uber failed to comply with state laws implemented to ensure that “drivers are doling out rides fairly to all passengers, regardless of where they live or who they are,” LA Times reports.
Clopton said Uber, which claimed it would appeal, violated the 2013 law that legalized the ride-hailing firms with its months-long refusal of releasing the data. The administrative Judge confirmed the proposed suspension of Uber’s license to operate remains effective until Uber complies completely with the requirements.
Also according to the judge, Uber refused to provide complete data on suspended drivers or those who committed a violation. Neither was any data showing the “cause of the incident reported” or how much was paid by insurance company aside from Uber.
Uber’s spokesperson, Eva Behrend, described the decision as “deeply disappointing.”
“We will appeal the decision as Uber has already provided substantial amounts of data to the California Public Utilities Commission, information we have provided elsewhere with no complaints,” Behrend said.
“Going further risks compromising the privacy of individual riders as well as driver-partners,” she said further.
Juan Matute from UCLA Lewis Center said although Uber is appealing the decision, he expects it will immediately comply with the ruling.
“The $7.3 million fine and the data they are asking to provide is not that significant in the grand scheme of things. Especially in California, I think Uber wants to be seen as a team player because of the recent labor board decision and how that could affect their business. This would seem like a small consolation to improve their chance of success with other regulatory issues that could have a bigger impact on them,” Matute was quoted by LA Times as saying.
Whether the fine and or suspension are carried out depends on the appeal procedure, which may take months.