With Innovation Comes Regulation: Driver-Connecting Mobile Application Companies as Common Carriers

Cite as: 61 Ateneo L.J. 844 (2017)
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Technology has become an indispensable part of everyday living. The most recent phenomenon in mobile phone technology — smartphones — offers its users not just supreme handheld functionality but, in the process, has also substantially altered how people go about their normal activities, specifically in the form of mobile applications (apps).

This Note focuses on discussing the legal classification of transportation-related mobile apps. In particular, it focuses on apps which connect users directly with drivers in real-time, such as Uber and Grab, which have been widely welcomed all over the world.

As the technology of these transport-related apps has advanced, the law has not kept in stride. This has permitted technological developers and companies to devise clever and intricate ways to keep legal issues at bay. Moreover, the lack of regulation likewise leaves several gray areas in the law which have become the source of protracted legal controversy. As such, the Author discusses at length the several problems brought about by this advent — not just in the Philippine setting, but internationally as well.

Thus, the Note provides a legal framework upon which the transport-related apps can be covered by the existing laws and jurisprudence. It aims to give an analysis on the role of drivers and companies, and their concurrent liabilities to its patrons. 

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