Uber online petition for Vancouver residents contains a message that might be missed

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      New Year's Eve is always a tough night to find a taxi.

      It's also when some folks will wonder why the City of Vancouver still hasn't allowed the ride-sharing service known as Uber.

      I was curious to know how many people have signed the online petition in support of allowing British Columbians to use the app, which was developed by the San Francisco-based company.

      Much to my surprise, I found more than I bargained for on the petition site, which lists more than 54,000 signatures.

      Supporters are urged to sign a letter that reads like many others of its kind. It mentions the popularity of ride-sharing as a solution to congestion and the merits of technological innovation.

      Uber discloses clearly that the letter will be delivered to provincial and municipal governments.

      It ends with this clarion call for liberty: "we ask that you please empower our right to choose!"

      All of this is in type that's easy to read.

      But then at the very bottom under the word "update" and below where people add their names, there is some very light grey text on a white background. (See above).

      This section is far more difficult to comprehend, particularly if you're not paying attention and you don't scroll to the bottom of the page.

      This is what it says:

      "By entering your contact information and clicking 'Sign Petition,' you agree that Uber may use this information for various purposes relating to this petition, including adding your name, email address, telephone number, and/or zip code to an electronic petition, displaying your name on print materials, and sending a letter or email on your behalf to your local officials, which may include your full name, city, and/or zip code. You also agree that Uber may contact you via email, phone, or SMS (including by automatic telephone dialing system) at the email address or number provided, for purposes relating to this petition."

      Why was it necessary for Uber to make this text so much less readable than everything else on this website? If Uber is so concerned about freedom of choice, why not "empower" its supporters to more easily understand exactly what the company is going to do with their personal information?