Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

But some "sharing economy" startups didn't fare so well at all.

By Kia Kokalitcheva
May 5, 2016
May 05, 2016

For all the beatings regulators give companies like Uber, Lyft, and even Airbnb, one organization has a warm spot for them: the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The non-profit organization, which has been advocating for issues like online privacy since the early 1990s, has issued a report looking at how well “sharing economy” companies protect their users’ data from government requests. Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft got a perfect score, while home-sharing company Airbnb got a three out of six, as did grocery delivery startup Instacart.

For its report, the EFF looked at whether companies required law enforcement to get warrants to provide them with user information. Additionally, it weighed whether companies issued transparency reports detailing the number of government demands they received and how they responded. They also considered whether companies provided public guidelines about the kinds of data they share with law enforcement and whether they inform users about government demands.

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“Consumers should be able to understand their privacy rights by reading the policies of the companies that hold their data,” EFF wrote in its report. “As such, this report only takes into account evidence of company practices that are official and publicly viewable online.”

Last month, for example, Uber released its first transparency report, revealing that it received 67 total requests for user information from airports and regulators, and 415 requests from state and federal governments for law enforcement purposes in the second half of 2015. Uber filled majority of those requests. The EFF’s report links to a similar report from Lyft as well.

The EFF’s report also evaluated home-rental company VRBO, car-sharing services Getaround and Turo, delivery service Postmates, and on-demand help service TaskRabbit. The last three got scores of zero.

TaskRabbit said that it was unaware of the report and would not comment until investigating. A Postmates spokeswoman told Fortune that the company has been in the process of updating its policies and that it plans to share the new ones both publicly and with the EFF when it is finished. Turo did not respond to a request for comment.

In past years, the EFF has published similar reports, though they typically evaluate large Internet companies like Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, finding a wide range of results among the companies. Some even scored differently from year to year.

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