Dazing Technologies

Horrific sexual assault reports by UBER?

Uber released an 84 pages report (Thursday evening) that they had from 2017 – 2018 and included incident reports resolved on or before October 31, 2019. The report is the first-ever report that Uber ever released. It includes 100 reports of rape, 800 reports of non-consensual touching, and that’s also in the first half of 2019.

Last year there were 3,045 reports including 235 Rapes from 1.3 Billion Trips. Close to 2,936 reports in 2017 which includes 229 Rapes from 1 Billion rides. The reports also showed 5,498 sexual assault, 464 rapes and 19 deaths (not necessarily between driver and the rider) complains were reported out of the 2.3 Billion U.S rips over the 2 years of the session. From which 92% of victims are riders and 7% are drivers.

Almost, 45 Rides are booked every sec in the U.S. 1 out of 6 Million rides is the one where the rider face assault. The majority are where drivers assault passengers (Inappropriately touching, kissing or rape attempt). The passenger also assaults Driver (especially if the driver is a woman). For security, Uber is going to add a 911 feature in the app to instantly call them if something bad starts to happen during the ride. And to make the security much better, Uber is also working towards the feature which will allow the passenger to record the voices in the car via the app. Passenger’s safety is a concern for Uber as well as for it’s US rival Lyft and China’s Didi.

According to Uber, only 0.00002 % of trips on its platform involve sexual assault reports in the last 2 years. It claimed that 99.9% of the total journeys were concluded without any safety issue. Uber decided to release their reports every 2 years. The reason to release the reports is to represent a step toward lucidity for a company that has been Inundated by lawsuits and criticism over safety concerns. The reports also cause the Uber stock to get down by 3% (which won’t be permanent), which means it lost $1.5 Billion. The company now worth $47.5 Billion, down from $49 Billion 2 days ago.

Karen Baker, the head of the US National Sexual Violence Resource Center, welcomed the report, and said that “It provides an opportunity to shed the light on how this Information-sharing emboldens our work for a safer future.”

Dara Hhosrowshahi (the CEO of UBER) tweets about sexual abuse.

 

A year ago, Uber first pledged to release the report in response to a CNN investigation that found at least 103 Uber drivers in the United States who had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the previous four years. The drivers were arrested, some were wanted by police, and some were also had been named in civil suits related to the incidents. It was the first time that any numbers had been put to the issue. The company told BBC that the releasing of reports other than the US market is not in their plan.

“Publishing a report (of one’s own will) that discusses these difficult safety issues is not easy,” said Tony West, chief legal officer at Uber. “Many companies won’t talk about sexual violence because by doing this they are inviting the negative headlines, feedbacks and company value. But we feel it’s time for a different approach,” he further added.

Uber had announced some increased safety measures in 2018, counting a partnership with RapidSOS, a company that sends a rider’s location and relevant information to a local police agency when the rider uses the emergency button in the Uber app. Uber also rebuild its background check policy to control annual checks on drivers. Uber ultimately announced it would do away with a policy that previously forced individuals with sexual-assault complaints into negotiation and made them sign confidentiality agreements.

Didi Chuxing, China’s biggest ride-hailing firm, has also faced safety issues related to rider and comeback over its handling of incidents, which also includes the killings of two women passengers in 2018. In November, the company announced it would resume service on its ride-sharing service Hitch with a “Curfew” of 8 pm for women — which it quickly walked back after surfacing criticism.

Uber is facing huge problems right now, and it also recently losses it’s a license to operate in London. Uber reported It’s third-quadrant loss narrowed to $1.2B, from $5.2B in the prior quarter. In fiscal 2021, the company expects to reach full-year profitability.  

Uber and competitor Lyft both have faced legal action associated with the safety issues of the riders around the country. A lack of lucidity about the number of incidents involving drivers has been a sticking point in lawsuits against the company. Lyft has also said it will release the safety reports by the end of the year.

Safety issues with ride-sharing apps aren’t limited to private companies. Uber went public in May but warned investors in its IPO paperwork about the report, which it said could negatively impact its brand.

“The public responses to this lucidity report or similar public reporting of safety incidents claimed to have occurred on our platform may result in negative media coverage and increased regulatory scrutiny and could adversely affect our reputation with platform users,” the company says in the filing.

Which ride-sharing company do you believe has more safety issues? And what should they do to resolve it? Please share your belief in the given section below.

 

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