A 2020 agreement between ride-hailing platforms and the Lagos state government to share access to user data is now at the center of a potential fallout between the government and Uber. While competitor Bolt has agreed to the terms, Uber is hesitant, said one person familiar with the company.

As part of ride-hailing regulations introduced in 2020, the Lagos State government asked for backend access to user trips and location data for planning, revenue, and security. [ad]

But two weeks ago, the government began asking ride-hailing companies to share real-time trip details, threatening to sanction defaulters.

A person close to the situation was bothered that the commissioner of transport requested for real-time data sharing as the ride-hailing startup already shares the data daily.

The government’s argument has remained the same: it wants to be able to identify both drivers and riders and protect users in cases of emergency. 

However,  the source argued that giving the government this kind of access to data opens users up to surveillance and can open the company up to being sued.

Uber did not respond to a request for comments.

“The goal should be achieving a responsible data sharing framework that leverages data for the public good, such as improving transportation services,  without compromising individual privacy,” said Kehinde Adegboyega, the founder and team lead at Human Rights Journalists Network.

While Uber remains hesitant to share real-time details with the Lagos state government, Bolt and an unidentified ride-hailing company already comply with the new rule. 

Joseph Olaoluwa Senior Reporter, TechCabal

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