Uber Abides

It turns out that Uber has a unit to police driver behavior and qualifications, and they are forbidden from reporting crimes to the authorities:

Inside the 23-story Bank of America Tower in downtown Phoenix, a team of nearly 80 specialized workers grapples with some of the worst incidents that happen in Uber rides. Armed with little more than a phone headset and GPS ride data, these agents in the Special Investigations Unit have to figure out what went wrong.

But when they make a determination, the SIU investigators are coached by Uber to act in the company’s interest first, ahead of passenger safety, according to interviews with more than 20 current and former investigators. Uber has a three-strikes system, investigators said, but executives have made exceptions to keep drivers on the road. For instance, a New York-area driver allegedly made three separate sexual advances on riders, said an investigator assigned to the case. After an executive overruled the investigator, the driver was allowed to continue working until a fourth incident, when a rider claimed he raped her.

The agents are forbidden by Uber from routing allegations to police or from advising victims to seek legal counsel or make their own police reports, even when they get confessions of felonies, said Lilli Flores, a former investigator in Phoenix — a guideline corroborated in interviews with investigators, alleged victims and plaintiffs’ attorneys.

This is still going on, so it’s not just a Travis Kalanick thing.

In fact, it’s not just Uber, It’s Lyft too, because evading responsibility is at the core of the “Gig Economy” business model.

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