Is surge pricing determined by gender? Parliament panel on Data Protection Bill to Ola, Uber

Cutting across party lines, members of the Joint Committee of Parliament on Data Protection Bill, 2019, questioned executives of both the companies.

Published: 06th November 2020 01:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th November 2020 01:36 AM   |  A+A-

Uber app (L) and Ola cabs

Uber app (L) and Ola cabs (File photo| AP and PTI)


NEW DELHI: Parliamentary panel on Thursday sought to know from the executives of cab aggregators Uber and Ola whether they have become transport companies with their own fleet and if surge pricing was determined by gender, time and battery power left in passenger's mobile.

Cutting across party lines, members of the Joint Committee of Parliament on Data Protection Bill, 2019, questioned executives of both the companies about the fairness of algorithms, Chinese investment and flow of data, chairman of the panel Meenakshi Lekhi told PTI.

"Members specifically asked about surge pricing and whether it is determined by gender, location, time and battery left in the mobile and is there any limit on surge pricing," she said adding the panel has sought written reply in an affidavit from both the cab aggregators.

The companies were also asked about having their own cars run by drivers with fixed salary.

Both acknowledged that besides being cab aggregators, they have their own cars as well, Lekhi said.

She said, "Details have also been sought whether any preferential treatment is being given to their own cars by the companies as they will earn more by having more rides on these vehicles, and isn't it that both players have become a transport company rather than being a cab aggregator?" According to sources, at the meeting, Uber conveyed that they have around 4,000 cars.

The cars will be handed over to drivers by the end of this year and Uber will remain only a cab aggregator, its executives informed the panel.

Representatives of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Paytm have already deposed before the panel.

While those of Ola, Uber and Airtel have been told to appear before the panel.

The Personal Data Protection Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on December 11 last year.

The bill seeks to provide protection to personal data of individuals as well as establishment of a data protection authority for the same.

The proposed law seeks bar on storing and processing of personal data by entities without the explicit consent of an individual.

The bill was later referred to the joint select committee of Parliament.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp