We believe that law enforcement agencies play a critical role in keeping our society safe. If Lyft has information necessary to assist law enforcement, we will make it available when presented with valid legal process. In recognizing the needs of law enforcement agencies, we have streamlined the process by which law enforcement can obtain information from Lyft by providing a dedicated online system for law enforcement officers to submit lawful requests for data, track requests, and obtain responsive data from Lyft. To ensure that law enforcement requests are addressed and complied with promptly, we have a team of dedicated specialists who manage and respond to all legal requests received from law enforcement agencies.
We publish these legal process guidelines to help government and law enforcement agencies understand the data we have and how to properly submit requests in order to receive prompt responses.
Law Enforcement Requests Guidelines
The following guidelines are intended to provide guidance to law enforcement officials about the legal process for seeking records from Lyft.
- What is Lyft and what records do we have?
- What type of legal process does Lyft require before producing user information?
- What form of requests does Lyft require? How are requests processed?
- How does Lyft handle emergency requests?
- How does Lyft handle public health requests?
- Does Lyft notify individuals of a law enforcement request for information relating to them?
- How many law enforcement requests does Lyft receive?
Lyft is a technology company that operates an application, website, and technology platform which provides a marketplace where persons who seek transportation to certain destinations (“Riders”) can be matched with transportation options to such destinations. One option for Riders is to request a ride from rideshare drivers who are driving to or through those destinations (“Drivers”)(collectively “Users”). Users authorize Lyft to match them with a Driver or Rider based on factors such as location, the estimated time to pickup, destination, user preferences, and platform efficiency, and to cancel an existing match and rematch based on the same considerations. In certain markets, Riders may also have the option to rent bikes or scooters through the Lyft Platform to ride to their destination. In some markets these bikes and scooters are owned by Lyft. In other markets Lyft operates a bike-share or scooter-share program on behalf of third parties.
Lyft does not provide transportation services, and Lyft is not a transportation carrier. Riders can use the Lyft application to request a ride from a driver using the Lyft platform, or initiate bike or scooter rental, via their smartphone. If using the platform to request ride from a driver, both the rider and driver receive a copy of the fare receipt.
We will disclose responsive business records regarding Users or trips in accordance with our terms, policies, and applicable law. Some general principles are set forth here, but may not apply in every case.
We require valid and sufficient legal process before disclosing any business records. We will not be able to produce any records unless we receive a subpoena issued in connection with an official criminal investigation to compel the disclosure of basic information. We require a search warrant issued pursuant to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure or equivalent state warrant to compel disclosure of certain communications between people using Lyft or GPS location information. The warrant must demonstrate that probable cause exists in order for us to disclose such communications or GPS location information.
Exceptions to these requirements may be available for emergency and exigent requests, where a user has provided consent, or - for requests that do not require a warrant - where other legal or regulatory standards apply.
To submit a request to the Lyft Law Enforcement Response Team (LER), law enforcement or government agencies conducting criminal investigations should submit their request and information through the Law Enforcement Online Request System here.
This system is the central place for law enforcement to securely submit their requests to our LER Specialists. Please note that acceptance of legal process by these means is for convenience and does not waive any objections, including, but not limited to, lack of jurisdiction or proper service.
Lyft is unable to process overly broad, vague, or unduly burdensome requests. Please ensure that your request is narrowly tailored to a legitimate law enforcement need.
We will only consider law enforcement requests that satisfy the applicable process above and adhere to the following guidelines:
- Requests must be typed; handwritten requests will not be accepted
- Duly signed and stamped by the appropriate law enforcement officer who is empowered by local law to represent the law enforcement unit that is making the request;
- In compliance with local and United States law; and
- Addressed to Lyft, Inc. directly.
- All known email addresses, names, and aliases of data subject or all known physical addresses and telephone numbers of the data subject;
- Your name, department, title, street address, telephone number and official government domain email address;
- Clearly identify the investigation or specific event that took place that is the underlying basis for the request;
- Specify date/time/location(s);
- Exactly what information you're requesting, why you're requesting it, and how it pertains to your investigation; and
- If applicable, Non-Disclosure Order issued by a Court or relevant legal authority supporting non-disclosure.
- The applicable act or law under which the law enforcement agency is requesting the data.
We disclose data to law enforcement and other government agencies when we determine that we are required to do so by law. In those instances, we will search for and disclose data that we are reasonably able to locate and retrieve.
Lyft will challenge any National Security Letter it receives, and will require the government to obtain an order from a court requiring its compliance.
Please note that we only review and respond to requests from law enforcement or government agencies submitted through this system.
We will not respond to requests or civil subpoenas submitted through this form by non-law enforcement officials.
We have a process for evaluating requests on an expedited basis where an emergency situation exists involving an immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm to a person. If Law enforcement seeks information to assist in the handling of an emergency or exigent situation, we may produce information in the absence of a subpoena or warrant where evidence is provided demonstrating an immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm to a person. In these events, we require that valid and sufficient legal process be produced within three days of production of the information.
Emergency requests may be submitted directly to Lyft’s Law Enforcement Response Team as set forth here. When submitting requests, Law Enforcement officials should note in the subject line: 'Emergency Disclosure Request' and describe in detail the nature of the emergency. We review these requests on a case-by-case basis.
Please note that we will only review and respond to emergency requests from law enforcement. We will not respond to emergency requests sent to this address by non-law enforcement officials.
Non-law enforcement officials aware of an emergency situation should immediately and directly contact local law enforcement officials.
If you are a public health organization seeking to notify Lyft of a public health matter and/or request information, please email LER@lyft.com. Please note that Lyft requires specific identifiers such as a phone number or email to locate and identify users. Requests submitted to the Law Enforcement Response team will be reviewed and responded to promptly.
It is our policy to provide notice to Users before producing their information in response to a criminal investigation by law enforcement unless (i) we are prohibited by law from doing so, (ii) we have reason to believe the subject’s Lyft account has been compromised such that the notice would go to the wrong person, or notice would otherwise be counterproductive or would create a risk to safety, or (iii) it is an emergency request and prior notice would be impractical (in which case we may provide notice after the fact).
Law enforcement officials who do not want their request disclosed must provide an appropriate court order or process establishing that notice is prohibited, or provide sufficient detail for Lyft to determine whether a request falls into one of the exceptions above. Regulatory or other non-criminal requests for information are not within the scope of this policy.
In the event that information is provided subject to a gag order or disclosed pursuant to an emergency request, Lyft will provide notice to its users of these government demands if Lyft is thereafter notified that the gag order or the emergency has expired.
We know that our users care deeply about privacy, and we want to make sure they are informed about how often we receive requests from law enforcement for user data. Here is information about the types and volume of information requests we received from law enforcement in 2018.