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Uber and Lyft will not allow drivers accused of sexual misconduct to switch platforms

The companies also plan to share data with other food delivery and transportation services.

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Uber and Lyft announced on Thursday their plans to share information on drivers accused of sexual misconduct so they don’t move from one platform to another. The two companies said that in addition to drivers included in incidents of severe forms of sexual assault, they would also share information about drivers involved in incidents that include physical assaults that resulted in a fatality. They also stated that they plan to share such data with other closely related industries such as the delivery and the transportation industry. 

However, before other companies can join the initiative and use the shared data, will need to partner up with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Urban Institute, as well as to agree with the same rules as both Lyft and Uber agreed to. 

To make this initiative work, Uber and Lyft plan to use the services of a screening company called HireRight. This company will aggregate the data coming from Uber and Lyft and make it accessible to those who agree to the given terms and conditions. 

This initiative comes after repeated criticism and accusations of sexual abuse from drivers working for the world’s two biggest ridesharing companies. There are even ongoing lawsuits against the two companies related to sexual abuse coming from drivers that use their platforms. One of them is a 2019 lawsuit in which Lyft is accused of insufficient background checks of the drivers that use their platform. 

Consequently, the two companies were pushed to take this matter more seriously and take concrete actions to minimize such behavior. As a result, Uber released its initial safety report. They recorded around 6,000 sexual assault reports based on data from 2.3 billion trips in the United States during 2017 and 2018.

Lyft was also pressured into making one such report. However, they haven’t publicly published their data on the basis that it might “violate victims’ rights to privacy.” Jennifer Brandenburger, responsible for policy development at Lyft, said that they are awaiting the resolution of a dispute with California regulators to see whether they will publish their data or not. 

In the meantime, both companies stated they are entirely focused on dealing with incidents of sexual abuse and that they’ve always conducted background checks via third parties. With the new system in place, they would be more efficient in preventing such illicit behaviors.

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