Also: Where do college grads live? And a hub for restorative justice will open in Oakland.
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What We’re Following
Behind the wheel: For ride-hailing companies, the power of data is clear: Uber uses real-time location info to route vehicles through cities as well as nudge the behaviors of its drivers and passengers. That kind of data could also empower drivers—if they had access to it. Right now, drivers do have access to some of their personal information, including trip histories and customer ratings. But lawsuits brought by Uber drivers in Europe and the United States are arguing that the humans behind the wheel should get a closer look at the data they generate, to get a fuller sense of how the app’s algorithm plays boss.
More granular information could help drivers make clearer decisions about their work, but the companies insist that rider privacy could be compromised. The results of this debate could have real consequences for gig-economy labor practices, potentially undermining the notion that ride-hailing drivers act as independent contractors. If it turns out that Uber performance-manages its drivers like a conventional employer would, that could spell big changes. CityLab’s Sarah Holder spoke with some of the drivers fighting for their data in court: For Ride-Hailing Drivers, Data Is Power
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What We’re Reading
Congress mulls a ban on Chinese trains and buses, but no U.S. companies make commuter rail cars (NPR)
The new American homeless (New Republic)
How Elon Musk gambled Tesla to save SolarCity (Vanity Fair)
The surprising history of the American college dorm (American Conservative)
Gun violence costs Americans billions every year. A California mayor has a plan to make gun owners pay for it. (Mother Jones)