Brief for Justin Sanchez and Eric Alejo v. Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the City of Los Angeles is a legal brief challenging the legality of LADOT requiring the provision of detailed, location-specific trip data from dockless mobility providers. It provides an excellent, detailed discussion of the privacy concerns raised by the collection of detailed, location-specific trip data, including numerous references that further demonstrate or discuss these concerns.
The legal brief 1 explains how location-specific individual trip data can be combined with other, publicly accessible data (such as who lives at a given address or what business is at an address) to reveal both the individual who took the trip and why the trip was taken (e.g., to visit a reproductive health clinic). The brief explains that this data is sensitive regardless of whether it is collected in real-time or provided after the fact.
The brief also provides examples of how such de-anonymized data can harm an individual and examples of where location information has been abused in the past, as when automatic license plate reader information was used by stalkers and domestic abusers.
Citations to research and reports with additional detail are provided.
In addition to this legal brief, another resource for readers is a ruling 2 dismissing the Sanchez et. al. v. LADOT case. In February 2021, this case was dismissed on legal grounds by the judge, who ruled that collecting MDS data did not constitute a search in legal terms, and that even if it did, it was not an unreasonable one. As of June 2021, that ruling is now being appealed.
- 1Taisar, M., et al. Brief for Justin Sanchez and Eric Alejo v. Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the City of Los Angeles. Retrieved June 2020. https://www.eff.org/document/sanchez-v-ladot-complaint
- 2Justin Sanchez, et al. v. Los Angeles Department of Transportation, et al. Case 2:20-cv-05044-DMG-AFM Document 27, Judge Dolly M. Gee, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YJhqVBzxzpOSBy2Z5qgRRphG8_sD9fVT/view, Filed 02/23/21.