Uber received another storm of sexual assault complaints in the US after its license for operating in London was canceled for the same reason in the last week of November 2019. In response to public safety issues, Uber announced that it has more than 3,000 complaints of sexual assaults from both drivers and passengers in the US.
Company’s Official Report on Sexual Assault
The company released its 84-pages official report on sexual assault complaints on Thursday, December 5, 2019. The report includes several incidences of misconduct by the Uber drivers on passengers and a number of the people who died because of Uber-related accidents.
However, the company claimed, “Its service is safer than alternatives”. At present, Uber provides the largest riding facility in the US and has millions of regular customers in the country. The company achieved a landmark of providing around 1.3 billion commercial trips in 2018 alone.
As per the company’s report, nearly 100 people died in the past two years due to accidents or collisions with Uber cars. Moreover, 9 people died of physical assaults in 2018, which were related to the company. 56% of sexual assault-related complaints, which included activities ranging from forceful kissing to penetration, were from passengers.
Still the Best besides the Report
In the backdrop of the report, Uber’s Chief Legal Officer, Tony West stated, “Uber is very much a reflection of society. The sad, unfortunate fact is that sexual violence is more prevalent in our society than people think. People don’t like to talk about this issue.”
However, he claimed, “I do think Uber is one of the safest ways to get from point A to point B.” According to West, after Uber’s implementation of rigorous safety policies last year, the number of assault-related cases against the company declined to 16% due to the introduction of new safety tools including a button for police help in the company’s app.
Moreover, Uber assured that it will continue publishing its report on public safety ever two years.
Transparency as the Solution to the Problems
Publishing data on sexual assault-related issues by Uber is considered a strange decision, which is likely to reduce the company’s services in the US.
However, Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO, commented earlier this week that “a precursor to trust is transparency”. Though the statement was made in related to London’s issues, Uber is likely to pursue its CEO’s statement.
In the light of this report, the CEO of the National Sexual Violence Resource Centre, Karen Baker, appreciated the daring steps taken by Uber and commented, “It’s really unprecedented for a company to collect this kind of systematic data over time and then share it with the public.”
Baker viewed that other companies working in the hospitality and transport industries in the US should do the same. Considering the publishing of the report as a positive sign, Baker stated, it would boost passengers’ confidence, as the company showed its seriousness in dealing with the existing problems.
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