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Uber and Lyft will share data to curb banned drivers — but only in the US

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Ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft are reportedly going to share the names of drivers that have been banned in relation to “serious” safety incidents — including sexual assault.

The relationship will be managed by a company that specializes in background checks. Naturally, sharing the names of banned drivers is focused on improving rider safety, and ensuring that bans from platforms for serious safety incidents carry across companies.

Unfortunately, this collaboration is only going to apply to the US.

The move has generally been acknowledged as a step in the right direction to addressing the sexual assault incidents that have blighted the platforms over the years.

However, it has been criticized. One lawyer close to the matter said there is no guarantee that reports against drivers are followed up on, and lead to activations. Indeed, sharing the names of banned drivers is one thing, but how this database is used to prevent banned drivers from signing up to competitor platforms is another question entirely.

Uber’s had a long and tumultuous history when it comes to the safety of its riders. In 2018, the company recorded nearly 3,000 incidents of sexual assault from riders using its app.

On the other side of the pond, Uber had its operating license suspended in the UK following a history of failing to protect its riders. That license has since been reissued and Uber continues to operate in the nation.

Sources: BBC News, NBC

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Published March 12, 2021 — 13:28 UTC

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