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?
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 persons driving to or through those destinations ('drivers') (collectively, 'Users'). Lyft does not provide transportation services, and Lyft is not a transportation carrier. Riders can use the Lyft application to request transportation from drivers via their smartphone. At the end of the ride, both the rider and driver receive a copy of the fare receipt.
What type of legal process does Lyft require before producing user information?
We require valid and sufficient legal process before we can disclose business records regarding Users or trips in response to law enforcement requests. We won't be able to provide any information without a valid subpoena, court order, or search warrant. We will require a warrant for requests for content of communications between Users or for prospective location data.
We may produce information in the absence of a subpoena or warrant where an emergency situation exists involving an immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm to a person, as discussed in the emergency request section below. In these events, we require that valid and sufficient legal process be produced within three days of production of the information.
We accept law enforcement requests via email to LER@lyft.com. Our acceptance of legal process does not waive any legal objections Lyft may have and may raise in response to the request.
What form of requests does Lyft require, and how are requests processed?
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:
- 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.
Requests must contain the following detailed information:
- 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
- The applicable act or law under which the law enforcement agency is requesting the data.
We disclose data to law enforcement 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.
How does Lyft handle emergency requests?
We have a process for evaluating requests on an emergency basis where an emergency situation exists involving an immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm to a person. Requestors must email LER@lyft.com with 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, and 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.
Does Lyft notify individuals of a law enforcement request for information relating to them?
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 should 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.
How many law enforcement requests does Lyft receive?
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 2016.
Law enforcement officials with questions about these guidelines should email LER@lyft.com. Please note that we will not respond to non-law enforcement inquiries received at this email address.