According to South Korea’s media regulator, Uber Technologies – the well-known US company that offers ride-sharing services all around the world – has breached communications rules on using location data and the authorities will report the transgression to prosecutors.
The Korea Communications Commission announced in an official statement that Uber’s local business division skipped on reporting its activities and was not granted official permission before starting to provide location-tracking services on its ride-sharing smartphone application. The regulator added that if the unit is found guilty as charged the punitive measures would involve a fine close to 30 million won ($27,700). This is the latest occurrence in the numerous legal challenges the company has started facing when it decided to expand outside the US. Additionally, worldwide protests arose from taxi and limousine operators – claiming the company lacks safety standards and even chief executive officer Travis Kalanick was indicted in South Korea last month for transportation law violations.
The Seoul metropolitan government now views Uber’s services – and those offered by competitors – as illegal and expressed desire to seek a ban against the company on the grounds that only licensed cabs can be used to provide taxi and related services. Uber’s car-sharing practices have also been declared outside the law in countries from India to Germany, together with several US states. The company has moved to adjust its business pattern, in some cases even foregoing core service models – for example partnering in Incheon, another South Korean city, with a local cab company.