UK city of York refuses to renew Uber’s license in new regulatory setback

(Reuters) – The English city of York refused to renew Uber’s [UBER.UL] license to operate there on Tuesday, the city council said, the latest regulatory setback suffered by the ride-hailing app.

The logo of Uber is seen on an iPad, during a news conference to announce Uber resumes ride-hailing service, in Taipei, Taiwan April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

The City of York Council’s Gambling, Licensing and Regulatory Committee rejected Uber’s application to renew its private hire operator’s license, citing concerns about a data breach that is currently under investigation and the number of complaints it had received about the service.

Uber’s data breach was brought to light last month by its new chief Dara Khosrowshahi, who said that Uber had failed to disclose a massive breach last year that exposed the data of some 57 million of its users.

The license renewal rejection in the northern English city was another blow to Uber’s UK operations after it was found unfit to run a taxi service in London in September and its Sheffield license was suspended earlier this month.

“This is a disappointing vote for the riders and drivers who use our app in the city,” Uber’s general manager in York, Neil McGonigle, said in an e-mailed statement. Uber would review the details of the decision once it received formal notice from the council, he added.

Uber has 21 days to decide whether to appeal against the decision to a magistrates’ court. If it does so, it could continue operating in York until the appeal is heard.

Uber was granted an operator’s license by the City of York Council on December 21, 2016 to run until midnight on December 23, 2017.

The company’s license to operate in the northern English city of Sheffield was suspended on Dec. 1 after it failed to respond to requests about the management of its taxi app.

Uber is appealing against September’s decision by regulator Transport for London to strip it of its license in its most important European market. A London court is expected to hear the case next year.

Uber has told Britain’s data protection regulator that about 2.7 million user accounts – representing the vast majority of people using the ride-hailing service in the country – were affected by the 2016 data breach.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Adrian Croft