Corporate report

E-scooter trials privacy statement

Updated 5 January 2023


To support a ‘green’ restart of local travel and help mitigate reduced public transport capacity, the Department for Transport (DfT) is fast-tracking and expanding trials of rental e-scooters. E-scooters offer the potential for fast, clean and inexpensive travel that can also help ease the burden on transport networks and allow for social distancing.

Through large-scale trials, we can also create the evidence necessary to guide final decisions about whether and – if so – how to fully legalise e-scooters. Gathering this evidence involves processing specific data about how e-scooters are being used and the experiences of different groups of people.

Why we need to collect personal data

The purpose for which DfT is processing your personal data is to assess the use and impact of e-scooters during the e-scooter trials. This will inform decisions on how they should be regulated in ways that promote safe and sustainable travel. The information gathered will be used for research and statistical purposes only.

What data we are collecting

We are processing the following information as part of the e-scooter trials:

Data provided by e-scooter operators

Name and contact details

E-scooter operators may share your name and contact telephone number and/or email address with DfT third-party research contractor, NatCen Social Research. This is for the sole purpose of follow-up research, such as online surveys and telephone interviews, to understand users’ experiences.

Trip information

E-scooter operators are also sharing some high-level information with DfT about each trip undertaken as part of the e-scooter trials:

  • time band (for example, 7am to 10am)
  • day of week
  • month
  • year
  • duration of trip (to the nearest minute)
  • length of trip (to the nearest 100 metres)
  • the ONS Lower Layer Super Output Area that corresponds with the trip start point
  • response to one or more research questions regarding how safe you felt, your main reason for using an e-scooter for that trip, or which mode of transport you might have used for that trip had you not chosen to use an e-scooter

It is not possible to associate this data with any name, contact details or other personally identifiable information.

Data collected directly from you by DfT

Demographic information

DfT is collecting anonymous demographic information about e-scooter users through the ‘Understanding e-scooter users’ survey.

This optional survey asks users about their gender, age band, income band and the first part of their postcode. It also asks about their ethnic group and whether they have a long-term health condition. This is to enable DfT to meets its obligations under the Equality Act 2010.

It is not possible to associate this data with any name, contact details or other personally identifiable information.

Our lawful basis for collecting your data

Under data protection law, UK GDPR Article 6(1), the lawful basis for processing your data for the evaluation of e-scooter trials is:

Article 6(1)(e) – public interest

Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.

As information concerning ethnic origin and health is a special category of personal information, a further section of the UK GDPR applies:

Article 9(2)(g) – substantial public interest (with a basis in law)

Processing is necessary for statutory and government purposes, to meet obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty, as set out under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

Data sharing

Your personal data will be processed on behalf of DfT by our third-party research contractors, Arup and NatCen Social Research. Anonymised data may be shared or published for reporting purposes.

How long we retain the data

Your personal data will be kept securely by DfT and anonymised within 2 years of DfT receiving the data.

Further information

For more information about your rights in relation to your personal data, how to complain or how to contact the DfT Data Protection Officer, view our Personal Information Charter.