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Uber Argues Driver Names Are ‘Closely Guarded Trade Secrets’

Ride Hailing App Uber Prepares For Its IPO On The New York Stock Exchange
Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America

Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. have argued to Chicago city officials that the names of their drivers should be treated as “trade secrets,” and should not be released because competitors could use the information to attempt to hire them away. 

This year, Chicago denied a Freedom of Information Act request asking for the names of drivers for use in an academic project. In a letter related to the request reviewed by Bloomberg, the city explained that it could not release the names in part because the companies had asserted that “would cause competitive harm specifically by allowing their competitors to target and ‘poach’ their drivers.” The request is now being reviewed by the Illinois attorney general’s office.