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

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Where Do College Grads Live? The Top and Bottom U.S. Cities

Even though superstar hubs top the list of the most educated cities, other cities are growing their share at a much faster rate.

Richard Florida

The Next Recession Will Destroy Millennials

Millennials are already in debt and without savings. After the next downturn, they’ll be in even bigger trouble.

Annie Lowrey

America’s First Hub for Restorative Justice Will Open in Oakland

Restore Oakland provides a home for nonprofits that seek to resolve conflict, reduce incarceration, and empower low-income people.

Sarah Holder

Did a Brooklyn Home’s Tunnel Provide Passage to Escaped Slaves?

Underground Railroad participation is hard to prove. Activists battling to save 227 Duffield Street from demolition say its fate will show what New York values.

Rebecca Bellan

Can Solar Panels Handle the Heat of a Warming World?

High temperatures and humidity make solar panels less efficient. What does that mean for solar power as the climate changes?

Linda Poon



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)


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