Uber, Lyft to share data on drivers banned for sexual, physical assault

The measure may stop banned drivers from being able to jump between platforms.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Uber and Lyft will share information on drivers that have been banned from their platforms for reasons including sexual and physical assault. 

The Industry Sharing Safety Program, announced on Thursday, will be managed by workforce solutions provider HireRight. 

If drivers are banned from working on one of the firms' platforms for "serious" safety incidents, at present, they could theoretically move to the other and resume work either as passenger transport or for delivery services. 

However, the new US program may stop these transitions from going under the radar. 

According to Tony West, senior VP and chief legal officer at Uber, "safety should never be proprietary."

"Tackling these tough safety issues is bigger than any one of us and this new Industry Sharing Safety Program demonstrates the value of working collaboratively with experts, advocates, and others to make a meaningful difference," West commented. 

The platform will allow both Uber and Lyft to exchange data on drivers 'deactivated' for sexual assault, misconduct, and "physical assault fatalities." HireRight will collect and manage driver data.

Uber and Lyft say the platform will "incorporates learnings from anti-sexual violence advocates over the past several years and prioritizes safety, privacy, and fairness for both drivers and survivors."

The program will be opened to similar transport and delivery companies in the United States. 

In other Uber news, in February, a UK court ruled that Uber drivers in the UK could not be considered self-employed. The long-running legal battle, in which Uber argued its drivers were contractors and, therefore, not entitled to certain employment protection or a minimum wage, was lost as the Supreme court disagreed. 

For drivers, this means that they may be entitled to back pay and compensation. For Uber, this means the company's entire business model -- based on gig-economy workers -- needs to be revised, at least in the UK. 

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