Chair, Assembly Committee on Insurance LOB 716
Albany, NY 12248
February 27, 2017
Re: Transportation Network Company data disclosure and FOIL. Dear Chairman Cahill,
We write to urge you and the Assembly to ensure that any legislation authorizing Transportation Network Companies to operate outside of NYC requires TNCs to provide state and local regulators with digital records about trips and drivers. We note that data that TNCs are required to provide to New York City government has allowed the public to make informed analysis about the impact of TNCs on NYC traffic and congestion – which appear to be extensive.
TNC legislation proposed by Governor and the Senate require TNCs to collect important trip and driver data, but not to provide that to state and local regulators. Instead, regulators are supposed to audit TNC records by visually inspecting a small sample of millions of rows of data at twice a year meetings.1 We find this absurd and an essentially useless charade. Nobody can determine whether a very large dataset is accurate and complete without importing that data into a database and mapping the data with geospatial software. Additionally, auditing the completeness of data is not the same as being able to use that data to determine the transportation, environmental and safety impact of TNC activity is.
If TNCs are required to save specific data to ensure public safety and compliance with labor laws, that data should be fully shared with state regulators – just as extremely sensitive insurance, banking and health records are. The Freedom of Information Law and its case law provides explicit protections for sensitive commercial information and personal privacy and both agencies and the courts have consistently upheld those protections.
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