“It’s not only because there are privacy policies that Uber will not misuse this information,” said Carl Szabo, policy counsel at the online commerce trade group NetChoice. “It’s because they know that they rely on public trust, and once that’s eroded that’s very hard to get back.
“I find it very unlikely that a business would risk losing so much for so little gain.”
Jim Blasingame – Radio Interview Steve DelBianco on ICANN, Internet Sales Tax, and Ridesharing
Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a tech-industry trade group that represents ride-share companies, says that the apps are probably responsible for some reduction in DUIs:
The data seem to support our expectation that Lyft and Uber reduce DUIs.
But more important is the logical conclusion that we can reduce drink driving by giving young partiers transportation alternatives that are safe and require no computing of tips or counting of cash.
“The only thing worse than an unfair bill is an unfair bill shoved through Congress using an unfair process,” said Steve DelBianco, the executive director of the group, which includes Web titans like Google, Facebook, eBay and AOL.
“At a time when lawmakers are making real progress on remote taxation approaches that don’t punish specific technologies and business models, this crass attempt to attach fatally flawed legislation to an important and uncontroversial bill is truly awful,” DelBianco added in his statement.
Steve DelBianco, executive director of tech trade association NetChoice, notes that the latter coverage is more than three times what’s required for taxi drivers, which in L.A. is $300,000 for medical liability that must be in effect 24/7.
“A Lyft or UberX driver picking up dry cleaning, maybe they’ll leave the app on in case someone is looking for a lift in the area,” he told us. “It’s ridiculous to expect that just because the app is turned on you’re in a commercial activity. More and more people will have the apps on all the time in case an opportunity arises to use excess capacity in their car.”
Imagine if the Florida legislature spent the past 18 months cracking down on orange growers, or if Vermont imposed tough restrictions on maple syrup makers. If those scenarios seem strangely self-destructive, then you have a good sense of how ridiculous California’s growing hostility towards the Internet innovation economy seems to us.
“Those ads are aimed at allies,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a trade association of e-commerce companies, including Lyft. “The only way you will battle 100 years worth of heavy contributions and relationship building (with politicians) from traditional industries is to mobilize voters and allies to your side.”
It can be harder to corral legislators on this issue, “because it rarely breaks cleanly along party lines,” DelBianco said.
“Early movers like Lyft and Uber might manage to absorb and pass along the extra insurance costs,” said Steve DelBianco, who advocates for tech companies in Washington, D.C. as executive director of NetChoice. “But new entrants won’t stand a chance at paying for insurance whenever their app is turned on. Essentially, the CA bill is a barrier to entry for new competitors. And that’s bad for drivers and riders.”
Perhaps because of that, “AB2293 reads to me like it was written by and for California’s insurance industry,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a trade association of e-commerce companies, including Lyft. He noted that the bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, has received $94,200 in contributions from the insurance industry since her election four years ago.
When new tech entrepreneurs are starting their business, “the last thing on their list is to start a long-term program of political giving,” DelBianco said. At that stage, they’re focused on survival.
Ridesharing companies and their customers are the newest target of California’s bizarre crusade to crack down on Internet-powered businesses (“Risky business behind wheel of new economy”; Forum, June 22). This time, regulators are getting help from deep-pocketed insurers and personal injury lawyers who look at the sharing economy and see dollar signs.
The ostensible target of this latest misadventure: something called an “insurance gap” when consumers get a ride with a Lyft or Uber driver instead of a taxicab.