Uber has created some security features for its app, RideCheck being the most recent of them. Internally, however, the company advises its employees not to report possible crimes that have occurred on the trips to the authorities.
According to the Washington Post, who heard about 20 employees and ex-Uber employees, the order is to act first in the interest of the company and then for the safety of the person who made the complaint, whether passenger or driver.
The determination applies especially to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Members of the sector, which has about 80 employees, investigate travel incidents. And even when they notice something is wrong, they are forbidden to forward accusations to the police or to recommend that the victims do so.
People heard by Washington Post claim that if they do so, they can be reprimanded or even fired from the company. The only exception, they say, is for situations where passengers or drivers are in immediate danger, such as a car on fire.
In addition to the police, officials say Uber does not send incident information to competing services or background check companies. The measure, which would help prevent recurrence of incidents, is not adopted even in serious situations.
To make matters worse, the three-strike system, which bans users after three reports, is not always respected. One of the reports points out that the company made an exception for a driver to use the service even after being accused three times of having committed sexual harassment. He was only banned after being accused of rape.
A former employee of the Special Investigations Unit says that in her time at Uber, about a third of the cases were related to sexual misconduct, including rape and unwanted approximations. Many of them were not investigated by the company.
“At the end of the day, we are not the judge and the jury to determine whether a crime has occurred,” Tracey Breeden, global head of women’s security at Uber, told reporters. Washington Post. “We are here to collect information, make a business decision. We are not agents of the law ”.
Uber claims that it does not share the information with third parties because it has a victim-centered policy. “A survivor must be able to own his story, he must be able to choose whether to provide this information to the police,” he continued.
Still to the newspaper, the company said that many of the policies described by employees are out of date. The company also recalled that the vast majority of its 16 million daily trips end without incident.