Image source: HireRight
Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER ) and Lyft Inc (Nasdaq: LYFT ) have teamed up to create a database of drivers in the US banned from their ride-share services for complaints of sexual assault and other crimes.
Announced Thursday, the first-of-its-kind “Industry Sharing Safety Program” aims to prevent offenders from moving between platforms and potentially doing more harm, as well as giving survivors a peace of mind.
Jennifer Brandenburger, head of policy and development at Lyft, said, “Sexual assault is drastically underreported, making these crimes less likely to show up in our rigorous background check and screening processes. With the Industry Sharing Safety Program, Lyft and Uber are working together to further enhance our screening capabilities, as well as the safety of the entire rideshare industry."
The new database will be overseen by HireRight, which specializes in conducting background checks, and will not include any information on victims. According to The Associated Press, the use of a third party is aimed at addressing potential legal concerns having access to information regarding personnel matters.
Lyft and Uber plan to eventually open the database to other companies that deploy drivers to perform tasks such as delivering groceries or restaurant take-out orders.
Uber chief legal officer Tony West said, "Safety should never be proprietary. You should be safe no matter what ridesharing platform you choose."
"Tackling these tough safety issues is bigger than any one of us, and this new Industry Sharing Safety Program demonstrates the value of working collaboratively with experts, advocates and others to make a meaningful difference. We encourage more companies to join us,” continued West.
Both Uber and Lyft have been criticized and taken to court for not doing enough to protect passengers from predatory drivers.
In 2019, 14 unnamed women sued Lyft, alleging the company failed to run adequate background checks on its drivers. Congress has also called upon the services to improve safety.
When Uber published its first-ever safety report in 2019, the company revealed there had been nearly 6,000 reports of sexual abuse between 2017 and 2018.
In response, Uber and Lyft introduced measures such as recurring background checks and features like in-app emergency buttons.
Additionally, the companies said they would work on creating a way to flag drivers who have engaged in violent behavior that resulted in them getting banned by the services.
West said, “When we published our US safety report, we made a promise: to find a way to share deactivation data with other rideshare and delivery companies. Today, we’re making good on that commitment.”
Source: Equities News