Uber has plans to make sure its passengers really feel protected when utilizing the service by introducing an audio-recording security function to all rides. This function, which might be examined in Mexico and Brazil subsequent month, is being launched amidst growing person security issues, as first reported by The Washington Post.
As soon as it’s been examined in numerous Latin American cities, Uber has plans to roll out the function within the US, which is able to ultimately permit drivers to mechanically file all rides, whereas passengers can choose in to activate the function by the app’s Security Toolkit previous to their trip. Neither driver or passenger might be notified when the function has been activated, though passengers might be warned earlier than their trip that it could be recorded for security causes.
The recording can’t be performed again by the motive force or passenger, however the passenger can select to submit the recording to Uber’s buyer assist workforce in the event that they’re reporting a security incident — all recordings are saved incase a passenger experiences a difficulty later down the road.
“When the journey ends, the person might be requested if all the pieces is okay and be capable of report a security incident and submit the audio recording to Uber with just a few faucets,” an Uber govt advised The Washington Submit. “The encrypted audio file is shipped to Uber’s buyer assist brokers who will use it to raised perceive an incident and take the suitable motion.”
Whereas this security function might make passengers and drivers alike really feel protected, it does elevate issues round privateness. Uber talked about that the roll out of the function to the States might take a while as audio-recording consent legal guidelines differ from state to state. Additionally, Reuters reported earlier this month that these audio-recordings could also be accessible to regulation enforcement upon request.
This security function is probably going in response to growing issues — particularly from feminine passengers — about their security when touring alone. In April final yr, a CNN investigation discovered that for the earlier 4 years, 103 Uber and 18 Lyft drivers had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers, and a minimum of 31 drivers have been convicted for crimes together with rape, kidnapping, and harassment. A few months after this, Uber issued a “Transparency Report” together with information about security and regulation, though it failed to say the way it handles harassment and assault allegations.
Over the previous yr, Uber has launched numerous new security options together with the flexibility to name emergency services directly from its app and an accessibility function to report an incident through the trip. Whereas the introduction of security options is a welcomed function to each Uber journey, it shouldn’t be perceived as a fast repair on how the corporate offers with sexual assault and harassment circumstances — extra must be finished within the hiring and verification course of to forestall individuals from being put in probably harmful conditions.