You are here: Home » International » News » Companies
Business Standard

Uber appeals $59 million California fine over sexual assault data request

By Tina Bellon

Topics
Uber

Reuters 

As much as 60 per cent of millennials are interested to work as gig workers. (Photo: Bloomberg)

By Tina Bellon

(Reuters) - Technologies Inc on Wednesday appealed a $59 million fine by a California regulator in a dispute over whether the company should share detailed information on sexual assault and harassment claims reported on its ride-hailing platform.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) fined in December after the company refused to share the information, including full names and contact information, arguing that doing so would violate victims' rights to privacy.

On Monday, an anti-sexual abuse group also appealed the decision and supported Uber's "transparency and commitment to protecting survivors."

Uber's Chief Legal Officer Tony West said during a Tuesday interview that no regulator had previously asked for personally identifiable information of sexual assault victims, and said the CPUC had not disclosed why it needed the data.

"While it may be well intentioned, (contacting those individuals) can lead to the retraumatization of survivors," West said, adding that Uber had repeatedly offered to resolve the dispute outside litigation.

The CPUC did not respond to a request for comment.

In the December order, a CPUC administrative judge said privacy concerns could be addressed by replacing victims' names with a code to allow commission staff to conduct follow-up investigations, but upheld the $59 million fine against the company.

The dispute stems from a safety report Uber released in December 2019, disclosing 6,000 reports of sexual assault related to 2.3 billion trips in the United States in 2017 and 2018.

That report, aimed at ensuring drivers and the public that Uber was serious about safety, has put the company in the spotlight. U.S. rival Lyft Inc has promised a similar report, but has yet to release it.

On Monday, the advocacy group RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), appealed the CPUC's order.

"should be commended, not penalized, for their transparency and commitment to protecting survivors," the non-profit wrote in a public filing.

 

(Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, January 13 2021. 19:52 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.