Uber and Lyft team up to expose drivers accused of assault


Illustration for the article titled Uber and Lyft join forces to expose drivers accused of assault

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Private transportation services Uber and Lyft are teaming up to make sure that nasties who have been kicked off their platforms stay away from their platforms.

The two announced a partnership Thursday in conjunction with vetting firm HireRight to create a database on drivers who were disabled for committing serious crimes, including physical and sexual assault, as part of their new Industry Sharing Safety Program. Rider safety concerns have dogged Uber and Lyft for years, along with dozens of complaints and lawsuits claiming the companies failed to comply. properly control controllers Y ban those with multiple strikes to break the rules.

The program is initially rolling out in the US, and other transportation and delivery services will be able to join the data-sharing system in the future as long as they accept and adhere to the same privacy safeguards as Uber and Lyft.

“You have to be safe no matter which rideshare platform you choose,” Uber Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Tony West said at Press release. “Tackling these tough security issues is bigger than any of us and this new Industry Shared Security Program demonstrates the value of working collaboratively with experts, advocates and others to make a meaningful difference. We encourage more companies to join us. ”

Drivers of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are largely considered independent contractors, not employees, which means that It can, and often does, drive for both companies.

A third party, HireRight, will collect and manage all data shared between these companies and will ensure that all parties comply with the industry standards outlined by the National Resource Center on Sexual Violence. For The Associated Press, information about the victims will not be shared in the database and the incidents that led to the dismissal of a driver are divided into six broad categories: attempted non-consensual sexual penetration; non-consensual touching of a sexual part of the body; non-consensual kisses of a sexual part of the body; non-consensual kisses from a non-sexual body part; non-consensual sexual penetration; and fatal physical assaults.

“We would share the basis of the deactivation, as well as the driver identification information enough so that other companies can find that person on their platform, nothing more,” West said in an interview with NBC.

Incidents of sexual assault and harassment are notoriously underreported to the police, which makes flagging dangerous drivers particularly important as they can go undetected with traditional background checks that are often based on legal records. The nonprofit victim rights group Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, which previously criticized Uber and Lyft for a lack of rigorous driver selection processes, praised the companies for coming together in the name of safe driving. the passengers.

“Sexual violence thrives in secret,” said Scott Berkowitz, the group’s president and founder, in the press release. “Thanks to this initiative, perpetrators will no longer be able to hide or escape responsibility simply by changing the shared transport platforms.”

Uber and Lyft have rolled out a number of safety features in recent years, including in-app panic buttons and additional ways for riders to check their drivers. But critics argue that these precautions are long overdue. In 2018, CNN found that 103 Uber drivers and 18 Lyft drivers had been charged with sexual assault or abuse in the past four years. In the company first safety report, Uber revealed that it received 3,045 reports of sexual assault while traveling in 2018. In that same year, nine people were killed and 58 were killed in car accidents. Lyft has also racked up multiple lawsuits from women for its handling reports of sexual assault and accusations that he didn’t do enough to protect passengers from dangerous drivers.

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