The controversy over the illegal sharing economy of Uber is expected to move onto the court as the police have booked a bunch of people concerned in the Uber taxi, which was declared illegal in Korea.
Tourist police force of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency announced on March 17th that Uber Korea’s branch manager, Kang, and leader of the overall management team, Lee, have been booked without detention for violating the Passenger Transport Service Act and more.
27, including representatives of six rent-a-car businesses—including Uber Korea’s cooperative company, company E—and individual drivers, etc. were booked for the same reason. Travis Cordell Kalanick, the founder of Uber Technology, which is the mother company of Uber Korea, has already been indicted for establishing and operating Uber Korea.
According to the police, they have been accused of collecting brokerage commissions from linking car·rent-a-car drivers and passengers recruited through the smartphone ‘Uber app’ since August, 2013, right after the founding of Uber Korea, until recently.
Investigation results showed that Uber Korea had received a 20% commission per Uber taxi fee and paid the drivers 80%.
Running a business using personal location information requires registration to Korea Communications Commission, but Uber Korea had sent passengers’ real-time location information to drivers without leave via Uber app, which applied the charge of violating ‘the protection and use of location information act.’
The police explained that since passengers’ phone numbers and credit card numbers are written in the Uber app, it is highly risky of personal information leakage, and since the cars do not have fraternal insurances for taxis, passengers are unable to be compensated in accidents.
The police argued that above all, passengers’ safety cannot be secured because there is no verification device for Uber taxi drivers, and that they are disturbing the taxi industry’s work by transporting through private cars at a cost.
Furthermore, the police summoned and investigated representative Kalanick, explaining their plans for further investigations on the Uber taxi drivers after confirming financial account details.
Uber Korea, which has recently finished registering as a location data business operator after stopping the UberX service, agreed to cooperate with police investigations.
An official of Uber Korea said, “Uber does not think Uber Korea’s employees have engaged in any kind of illegal act. We are also examining whether we will answer representative Kalanick’s summons or not.”
Staff Reporter Lee, Kyung-min
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