Lyft, for its half, has not adopted via by itself prior timelines for placing out the report.
When NCS Business requested Lyft in September 2019 in regards to the standing of the report, Lyft mentioned it deliberate to launch its transparency report by the tip of the 12 months. In May 2020, Lyft informed NCS Business the corporate deliberate to launch the report that 12 months.
In a press release, Lyft spokesperson Ashley Adams informed NCS Business, “The CPUC’s recent actions put victims’ privacy at risk and must be resolved before we will release our safety report.”
When requested in regards to the modified timelines, Lyft informed NCS Business it had determined to embrace knowledge from 2019 in its report and was ready on authorities visitors fatality knowledge to be launched. By the time it was, the CPUC had taken problem with Uber’s report.
The first trial is ready to start in January 2022.
(Lyft referred NCS Business to its assertion from December 2019, after fits have been filed: “Everyone deserves the ability to move about the world safely, yet women still face disproportionate risks. We recognize these risks, which is why we are relentless in building safety into every aspect of our work. That means continually investing in new features and policies to protect our riders and drivers.”)
According to Levin Simes Abrams LLP, considered one of three companies bringing cases towards Lyft, the variety of passengers in search of authorized counsel over alleged sexual assault and abuse claims by Lyft drivers is way larger. The agency mentioned it has retained greater than 400 purchasers whose cases it’s investigating and prosecuting, with roughly 80 cases filed at present. Estey & Bomberger LLP, one other agency bringing separate cases towards Lyft and can be a part of the coordinated continuing, mentioned it has “many” different alleged victims whose cases it has yet to file.
“These [cases] are going to keep coming unless [Lyft] changes its procedures or institutes more safety measures,” Angela Nehmens, affiliate lawyer at Levin Simes Abrams LLP, informed NCS Business final month. “Uber is at least making an attempt to be open with the public. … Lyft is not doing that at all.”
“They’re not cooperative,” mentioned Rachel Abrams, a associate at Levin Simes Abrams, who added that whereas Uber meets periodically with the agency to attempt to resolve cases, Lyft doesn’t.
Lyft declined to touch upon the cases.
For Lyft there may be a lot at stake in releasing the report, together with the potential to dent its model simply as the US economic system is starting to reopen.
“Lyft built a reputation as a company that cares about women, safety, and social issues. Lyft’s focus on the strength of its reputation was a key selling point to IPO investors,” in accordance to the grievance. “Contrary to the public image … Lyft had a pervasive problem with sexual assaults committed by its drivers.”
Lyft declined to touch upon the investor lawsuit.
According to Susan Sorenson, a professor of social coverage on the University of Pennsylvania whose analysis areas embrace the problem of violence towards ladies, it’s “reasonable cause for concern” that Lyft has yet to disclose this knowledge, which might assist outline the character and scope of the problem on its platform for most people.
Sorenson mentioned firms “can and do take action when they feel it’s in their best interest.”
Information round security incidents may help individuals make knowledgeable selections about how and when to journey, however the transparency additionally runs the danger of damaging an organization’s repute, in accordance to Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Distinguished Professor of city planning and design at UCLA.
“[The companies] should be very concerned if people start saying that there’s an increasing number of people that complain about harassment because this whole idea of safe travel through Lyft or Uber falls apart,” mentioned Loukaitou-Sideris. “I think that’s why they’re very much protecting their data on this point.”
Loukaitou-Sideris, who has studied sexual harassment in public transit, mentioned not producing a report can also discourage reporting of incidents to the corporate.
One cause individuals don’t report alleged incidents of sexual violence, in accordance to Loukaitou-Sideris, is as a result of they understand that nothing a lot will occur as a results of their reporting. “By not publishing this data, it is one more reason that justifies that approach,” she mentioned, citing a potential unintended consequence of Lyft having yet to put out a report.
Uber, in the meantime, is slated to publish its second transparency report later this 12 months. While Uber “took a really important first step” in releasing its knowledge, in accordance to Sorenson, she mentioned there may be nonetheless rather more to be completed.
Sorenson mentioned it will be useful to launch uncooked knowledge in an anonymized means in order that it may be studied. Additionally, she and attorneys at Levin Simes Abrams LLC mentioned ride-hail firms might require drivers to file rides, for instance, so there’s extra accountability inside autos for each drivers and passengers. (Uber lately began prompting drivers to register their dashcams with the corporate, citing that it may assist drivers observe native surveillance and recording legal guidelines. The firm mentioned it alerts riders that their journey will likely be recorded if a driver has registered the dashcam, which can deter security incidents from occurring.)