Uber reaches agreement with California regulator for sharing data on sexual assault and harassment

Uber concluded a preliminary agreement with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for sharing data related on sexual assault and harassment claims filed by users on its platform. The purpose of the agreement is to share such data while protecting the victims’ privacy. By signing the agreement, Uber avoided a $59 million administrative fine. In December 2020, the ride hailing platform faced a fine after refusing to share victims’ detailed information, such as their name and contact information. At the time, Uber alleged that it did not agree to violate its users’ right to privacy. 

In 2019, Uber released a report disclosing that the platform had received six thousand claims of sexual assault during Uber trips in the United States. This report put the company in the spotlight of public authorities which initiated investigating Uber practices. According to Reuters, Lyft had promised a report on sexual assault, but it decided to wait the results of the CPUC investigation before releasing any data concerning the issue. 

Under the new agreement with the CPUC, Uber agreed to share with the CPUC anonymized data on previous cases of assault. For future cases, Uber will give users the possibility to decide about being contacted by the commission when they report a claim on sexual assault or harassment to the platform. The agreement still must be approved by a judge.