Uber and CPUC Settle Rider Assault Data Dispute

According to a San Francisco Chronicle article by Chase DiFeliciantonio published Thursday, Uber Technologies Inc. and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) have reached an agreement regarding the company’s handling of rider sexual assault and harassment incident data. The CPUC initiated administrative proceedings against Uber after the company released a report disclosing statistical incident data, but refused to provide the commission with more information.

In the 2019 report, Uber allegedly revealed that it received nearly 6,000 reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment during 2017 and 2018. Of the 2.2 billion rides tallied for those years, 464 resulted in rape, the article said.

When a CPUC administrative law judge ordered the ride-hailing giant to give over more information concerning incident location and victim and witness contact information, Uber declined. In filings, the company reportedly contended that victims did not consent to such information sharing, and handing the information over “risked retraumatizing them along with having a chilling effect on future reports,” the article said. In turn, the CPUC levied a $59 million fine against Uber in a December 2020 decision, which the company appealed.

This week’s settlement, though not yet formally approved, requires Uber to pay a fraction of the original fine, just $150,000, DiFeliciantonio wrote. In addition, Uber will pay $5 million to the California Victim Compensation Fund and $4 million to redress physical and sexual violence in the passenger carrier industry, according to the proposed agreement. Uber must also give the CPUC data relating to past incidents, though information identifying victims will be withheld.