Uber’s very first security report keeps in mind almost 500 rapes in 2 years

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Uber has actually assembled information on all of the severe events that have actually occurred throughout its flights over the last 2 years.


James Martin/CNET

After lots of claims of sexual attacks devoted by its chauffeurs, Uber guaranteed in May 2018 to release a “safety transparency report.” The concept was to launch information on the variety of supposed attacks that happen throughout its flights in the United States. Now, a year and a half later on, Uber has actually settled that report. 

In its 84-page report, Uber stated 99.9% of its flights ended with no security reports which the staying 0.1% mainly comprehensive small security problems, like extreme braking. That leaves 0.0003% of flights that had “critical safety” events. 

Of those crucial events, there were 464 rapes in 2017 and 2018 integrated. In 2018 alone, there were 235 rapes, which averages out to 4 each week. Over the course of the 2 years, there were more than 5,500 other events of sexual attack varying from undesirable kissing to tried rape. The most typical sexual attack was searching, with 1,440 reports in 2017 and 1,560 reports in 2018.

“Voluntarily publishing a report that discusses these difficult safety issues is not easy,” Tony West, Uber’s primary legal officer, composed in an article Thursday. “Most companies don’t talk about issues like sexual violence because doing so risks inviting negative headlines and public criticism. But we feel it’s time for a new approach.”

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Uber

Drivers were likewise victims of supposed attacks 45% of the time, according to the report. But when it comes to supposed rape, riders were the victims 92% of the time. Uber likewise reported 19 non-sexual deadly attacks over the two-year duration. 

“Each of those incidents represents an individual who has undergone a horrific trauma,” West informed NBC News in an interview. “But I’m not surprised by those numbers. And I’m not surprised because sexual violence is just much more pervasive in society than I think most people realize.”

Hundreds of guests and chauffeurs have actually stepped forward over the previous couple of years declaring sexual attack throughout flights. Several claims have actually been brought versus Uber by individuals stating they were raped, abducted and searched by the service’s chauffeurs. Similar claims have actually been made versus Uber’s competitor Lyft, which has actually been taken legal action against by a minimum of 56 females given that August declaring sexual attack by its chauffeurs.

Lyft likewise promised in May 2018 to release a security report, however it’s uncertain when that will be launched. A business spokesperson stated it’s still devoted to producing a report. “It is Lyft’s goal to make the US ridesharing industry the safest form of transportation for everyone,” she stated.

In its report, Uber stated more than 1 million potential chauffeurs didn’t pass its background checks in 2017 and 2018. And given that it introduced its constant background checks in 2018, more than 40,000 chauffeurs have actually been gotten rid of from the app. Some supporters for victims state Uber might still do more by needing its chauffeurs to go through finger print background checks, something the business has actually long withstood.

Several advocacy companies praised Uber on Thursday for launching this information. Those companies consist of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, RALIANCE, the National Crime Prevention Council, It’s On Us, NO MORE, Jane Doe Inc., RAINN and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

“As an advocate who has been working in the movement to end sexual violence for the past 20 years, I welcome this unprecedented report,” Karen Baker, CEO of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, stated in an e-mail. “By releasing this data publicly, Uber is confronting these challenging issues head-on rather than shying away from or minimizing the numbers.” 

To battle sexual attacks, Uber has actually included a number of security functions to its app over the previous year. Those consist of: RideCheck, which sends out a push notice to chauffeurs and riders if there’s an unanticipated long stop along the method; on-trip reporting, which lets riders report an event prior to the journey has actually ended; and a text-to-911 function that consists of place details and the cars and truck’s make, design and license plate.

West stated Uber is dealing with a number of more efforts to decrease the variety of crucial events. One is sharing details about shut down chauffeurs with other ride-hailing business, like Lyft. Another is producing a trip confirmation system for guests that utilizes a unique four-digit PIN. Uber stated it will likewise continue to launch security reports every 2 years.

“Of course, this is more than an ‘Uber thing,'” West composed in the post. “Safety should never be proprietary, and it’s our intention to make an impact well beyond our own company.”

Originally released Dec. 5, 4: 19 p.m. PT. 
Update, 4: 54 p.m.:  Adds remark from Lyft spokespersons and extra background details. 
Update, 5: 46 p.m.:  Adds remark from Karen Baker, CEO of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, and extra background details.    

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