Uber is once again facing some questions about its safety standards, after a Philadelphia woman told police she was raped and kidnapped by an UberX driver. The company didn't learn about the rape until 40 days later, when a reporter from Philadelphia magazine told them about it.

The new video features Uber riders talking about their feelings of safety and security when using the ridesharing app: two out of three of them are woman, and the video makes sure to highlight that the company does background checks and "extensive screening" of its drivers. An email titled "Safety by Design" is being sent out to Uber users with the same information, including a line about how Uber "prohibits drug or alcohol offenses, severe traffic violations, and sexual offenses."

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Uber Head of Global Safety, Phillip Carednas, also published a safety update on the company's blog. It says, again, that Uber is totally safe, but adds that the company has created Incident Response Teams to respond to serious safety concerns. Cardenas also points to the company's Code of Conduct. The closest is gets to addressing sexual assault is this tidbit:

No aggressive behavior

It is disrespectful to make derogatory remarks about a person or group. Furthermore, commenting on appearance, asking overly personal questions and making unwanted physical contact are all inappropriate. We encourage you be mindful of other users' privacy and personal space. Violence of any kind will not be tolerated.

In an emergency, the Code of Conduct adds, Uber riders should call 911. "Once all parties are safe and the situation has been handled by the authorities, please then notify Uber," it adds. The company says it's also creating a new advisory board to review its safety practices.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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