Uber will start audio-recording rides as a safety measure

Drivers can installation the characteristic to routinely file all rides, while passengers will need to set off the characteristic thru the app’s Safety Toolkit before stepping into a vehicle; it’s now not clean whether they’ll have to enable the function before each and each ride. Either way, riders and passengers gained’t be notified when recording starts — Uber says they’ll get a widespread caution whilst the characteristic will become to be had, in addition to prompts asking them to grant the app microphone get right of entry to.

Riders can pick to post the recording to Uber’s customer support crew after they report a protection difficulty. The recordings are saved in case a user comes to a decision to document the incident later.

The recordings might be encrypted and riders and drivers received’t be able to get entry to the audio themselves, but Reuters mentioned in advance this month that the initial rollout of this selection in Mexico and Brazil can also make those recordings available to police officers upon request.

The function may improve a few privateness troubles: numerous states have wiretapping statutes that restrict recording people with out consent from each parties to a communication. This is similarly complex when more than one passengers are concerned. Uber says it's far nevertheless operating out these troubles.

Uber has been faced with ongoing concerns about consumer protection, particularly, its records of sexual attack cases. At least 103 Uber drivers had been accused of sexually assaulting or harassing their passengers, CNN suggested ultimate yr, and at the least 31 drivers had been convicted for crimes such as forcible touching, false imprisonment and rape.

Since then, Uber has been taking steps to improve safety within its app, which includes allowing passengers to dial 911 directly from the app and announcing a characteristic that permits riders to file protection issues in the course of the ride. A yr in the past, Uber introduced it'd be liberating a transparency record this year containing facts about sexual attacks, however the document hasn’t been released but.

Uber has additionally had numerous instances of sexual harassment inside its agency. Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler wrote a viral account of sexism and harassment at the employer. The ensuing research into sexual harassment at Uber caused the firing of 20 personnel.

The rideshare employer used to have a policy of obligatory arbitration for instances of sexual attack and harassment, but ended it remaining year.

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