Lyft, Enterprise Want Lawsuit Over Data-Sharing Thrown Out

Ride-sharing company Lyft and car rental company Enterprise Holdings are asking a judge to dismiss a potential class-action lawsuit alleging that that the carpool service Zimride violates a California privacy law.

The lawsuit, brought earlier this year by California resident Miguel Garcia, accuses the companies of transmitting Zimride users' personal information to the analytics business Mixpanel. Garcia argues that Lyft and Enterprise are violating the California Privacy Act, which limits ride-sharing companies' ability to disclose personal information about consumers without their written consent. (Lyft sold Zimride to Enterprise last year; Garcia sued both companies.)

Lyft and Enterprise argue in new court papers that California's privacy law doesn't apply in this case. Specifically, they argue that the provision of the law dealing with ride-sharing was meant to “regulate behavior connected with commuter carpooling -- not the occasional road trip.”

Garcia said in his complaint that he signed up for Zimride in July and August of 2012, when he entered details for a ride in California. He said he also sought rides within California in May and December of 2013.

The companies argue that the law, which dates to 1990, was aimed at addressing a “proliferation of consultants” who had started arranging commuter carpools. Lyft and Enterprise say that California lawmakers were afraid these consultants would share employee's information without their knowledge or consent.

Lyft and Enterprise also argue that the lawsuit should be dismissed on the ground Garcia didn't specify what “personal information” was allegedly disclosed. Garcia alleged that the companies transmit a host of data -- including users' ages, genders, Zip codes, metropolitan regions, trip details, a link to their Facebook profiles, and an alphanumeric identifier that can be used to create behavioral profiles of users in order to send them targeted ads.

But Lyft and Enterprise say that none of that data is “personal information,” which the companies say is defined as including home or work addresses and hours of employment.

Armstrong has scheduled a hearing on the matter for June 10.

 

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