New panic button on Uber app to help with safety issues

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After more than 100 victims reportedly claimed they were sexually assaulted by Uber drivers, Uber is now revamping its safety processes.

A new panic button feature is available in the Uber app.

Lawyer Quentin Brogdon has sued Uber multiple times and gives some credit to the ridesharing company for moving in the right direction, but they're only doing it because of all the pressure from the public.

He said a panic button won't stop a sexual assault, it's just alerts authorities of your location.

“A panic button does not in and of itself deter an evildoer intent on doing evil from actually committing an act they shouldn’t be committing,” said Brogdon.

He added that a panic button is a band-aid and creates a false sense of security.

Brogdon said Uber has suffered from the public perception that they're not paying attention to the safety of their passengers.

"Uber had no choice but to take some affirmative concrete steps to try and restore the public’s confidence in their platform,” said Brogdon.

He said if Uber drivers have not been screened, it's like hitchhiking with complete strangers.He wants much more in-depth criminal checks of driver’s histories. Uber still isn’t fingerprinting.

Included in Uber’s press release:

The new (two months in), CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wants transparency, integrity, and accountability and that means changes to safety processes:

·         proactively re-run criminal background and motor vehicle checks each year,

·         investing in new technology that can notify when a driver is involved in criminal activity.

·         added a feature that allows riders to share live trip information with up to five trusted contacts, so there are multiple sets of eyes on each ride.

·         rolling out a new emergency button in the app that can automatically communicate the car’s location to a 911 center.

First, we will no longer require mandatory arbitration for individual claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment by Uber riders, drivers or employees.

Survivors will be free to choose to resolve their individual claims in the venue they prefer: in a mediation where they can choose confidentiality; in arbitration, where they can choose to maintain their privacy while pursuing their case; or in open court. Whatever they decide, they will be free to tell their story wherever and however they see fit.

Second, survivors will now have the option to settle their claims with Uber without a confidentiality provision that prevents them from speaking about the facts of the sexual assault or sexual harassment they suffered.

Divulging the details of what happened in a sexual assault or harassment should be up to the survivor. Enabling survivors to make this choice will help to end the culture of silence that surrounds sexual violence.

Third, we commit to publishing a safety transparency report that will include data on sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on the Uber platform.

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