A new study from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) finds that Walmart has signed a deal with the popular ride-hailing service Uber to collect and store data on the millions of people it contracts with on a daily basis.
“This agreement allows Walmart to gain access to potentially sensitive customer information from tens of thousands of Uber drivers nationwide,” the CFA wrote in a statement.
The deal is similar to the one Uber struck with Wal-Mart, which the company said in December it would enter into a “voluntary partnership” with the start-up in an attempt to help it reach 100 million more drivers over the next two years.
Walmart said it has already begun using data collected by Uber drivers for marketing purposes and that it would continue to do so for a while longer.
But the CFAA said the Walmart deal “allows Walmart to acquire a huge amount of data from tens, or even hundreds, of thousands, of Uber driver data points.”
The CFA noted that the Walmart data includes a detailed database of drivers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, phone hours, vehicle characteristics and the number of complaints they’ve filed with local authorities, among other things.
In addition, Walmart has access to information on “more than 200 million retail shoppers and millions of customers who have used its online store or its mobile app to purchase goods or services,” according to the CFCA.
This deal could also have serious consequences for Uber, which already faces scrutiny from federal regulators after regulators said the company’s data-sharing agreement with Walmart is violating federal antitrust laws.
As part of the deal, Walmart will use the Uber data to help its “customers better understand the company and its business,” Walmart said in a written statement to the news outlet.
Walmart has yet to respond to the findings.
Walmart has been battling with Uber for years, with regulators saying that it has been unfairly able to target low-income drivers who live outside its borders.
The CFA’s research found that more than 200,000 Uber drivers in the United States were eligible for the Walmart contract, which could have affected hundreds of thousands more drivers.
After the deal was announced, Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon said the data the company collects from drivers is not subject to privacy laws, though the company has been in talks with regulators about privacy.
If the Walmart-Uber deal goes forward, it could potentially lead to further scrutiny of the company, as the CFPB is now investigating Walmart’s data sharing deal with a competitor, Lyft.
Last month, the CBA’s antitrust division warned that Walmart could be in violation of antitrust laws by using its own data to target and collect information from drivers who aren’t members of the CFO, an important part of its business.
Under the terms of the contract, Walmart must also provide Uber with access to the data of drivers that are not members of its CFO’s network and who do not live within 50 miles of the store.
Walmart also must provide Uber access to “all data” gathered from Uber drivers that it is “reasonably expected” to use for marketing and advertising purposes, the antitrust division said.
While the deal has not been finalized, Walmart said it plans to provide the data to Uber in the next six months, and that Uber will have access to all data.
Walmart said its goal is to offer “robust analytics and analytics capabilities” to Uber, adding that it will also work with the ride-sharing company to improve the data it collects.