DoorDash prides itself not just on offering a flexible platform that meets the needs of merchants, Dashers, and customers, but also on advocating for solutions that best serve our communities. This is especially true in New York City.
This is why recently, when the City Council proposed legislation that would jeopardize the safety and privacy of New Yorkers, we spoke out in opposition, highlighting the risks that this law would pose to vulnerable populations in particular, New Yorkers broadly, and our own business. Several civil rights, immigration, business and privacy advocacy groups, including Arc of Justice, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Haitian American Caucus, New York Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, American Consumer Institute, Tech:NYC, and others also voiced their opposition to the proposed legislation, warning how dangerous it could be. Unfortunately, the City Council chose to ignore these voices, passing the bill despite the concerns of more than 5,400 New Yorkers who wrote to them in opposition.
The concerns we had then are the same now: this bill threatens the safety and privacy of New York City consumers. We remain committed to fighting on their behalf to keep this harmful, first-of-its-kind legislation from taking effect. That’s why today we are filing a lawsuit against the City of New York to stop this legislation in its tracks. New Yorkers, privacy advocates, consumer-interest groups, and DoorDash alike worked tirelessly to communicate the harms of this legislation to the City Council and suggested changes that could have avoided this lawsuit altogether. Today, we are left with no choice but to pursue this issue in the courts.
Before we get to the details of our litigation, it is important to note that we recognize that every restaurant has different needs, so we’ve worked hard to provide transparency and choice for merchant partners while providing resources to help them succeed. This includes powering numerous ways for restaurants to meet customers online and grow their business, including options with 0% commission and the ability to have a direct relationship with the customer in a manner that protects consumer privacy. Restaurants can choose to use our Marketplace, paying a commission as low as 15% and gaining access to insights on their orders that help them make informed decisions about their menu and offerings. These, and other products, have helped move countless restaurants online easily as they pivoted and re-pivoted their businesses to meet the changing demand and incredible challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Our work to provide partners with options is a complement to the many efforts we’ve made to support merchants, Dashers, and customers throughout the five boroughs. During the height of the pandemic, we distributed meals to students and the food insecure through a partnership with the City Department of Education. In the last year alone, we have distributed almost $1 million in grants to support restaurant workers, help restaurants winterize, and provide financial support and specialized educational resources to women-, immigrant- and people-of-color-owned businesses. In addition, we are advocating to make roads safer for delivery workers, including by signing onto the Transportation Alternative’s 25×25 Coalition that called on the next Mayor of New York City to repurpose 25% of city streets and add 500 bike lanes by 2025.
We believe that part of serving our community is ensuring trust between merchants, customers, and Dashers. The City Council’s legislation, N.Y.C. Int. No. 2311-A, would not only destroy that trust by forcing delivery platforms to disclose sensitive, personal customer data to restaurants without any protections for that data, but would also open the door for sensitive information like names, email addresses, home addresses, and telephone numbers to be misused, spammed, and available without any protection because of how poorly the bill was drafted.
When customers order through DoorDash, they provide information to enable us to process and deliver their order safely and securely. We take this responsibility seriously, which is why we have invested in robust data security measures and have teams devoted to protecting the personal information customers provide. Compelling us to hand over this information poses risks for customers who rely on DoorDash for their meals and essentials. These are immigrants and undocumented New Yorkers who are navigating already challenging situations in New York and can’t afford to have their information exposed; LGBTQ+ communities who face discrimination when their identity is questioned and shouldn’t have to worry anymore; and domestic violence survivors who are forced to make great efforts to keep their location and identity protected. These communities are not only customers, but partners, and we need to stand with them and advocate for them.
In addition to the risks this legislation poses to New Yorkers, the legislation forces DoorDash to give over sensitive business information, including proprietary data and trade secrets that enable us to best serve all sides of our platform. The legislation also impairs our existing contracts with thousands of New York City restaurants. And it creates a dangerous precedent. We are confident that we will clearly demonstrate how unlawful and dangerous this law is.
This litigation is the latest step in our efforts to advocate for our community. Last week, we joined together with other delivery platforms to file a lawsuit against the City for the harmful, unnecessary, and unconstitutional price control passed earlier this summer – much like the lawsuit filed against the City of San Francisco for the same reason. While DoorDash always aims to be a partner to cities in which we operate, we must also stand up to public policy that harms Dashers, merchants, or customers. We look forward to finding better ways forward for all stakeholders.