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Why Uber is appealing a $59 million California fine over sexual assault data request

Uber Technologies Inc. on Wednesday appealed a $59 million fine by a California regulator in a dispute over whether or not the corporate ought to share detailed info on sexual assault and harassment claims reported on its ride-hailing platform.

The California Public Utilities Commission fined Uber in December after the corporate refused to share the data, together with full names and speak to info, arguing that doing so would violate victims’ rights to privateness.

On Monday, an anti-sexual abuse group additionally appealed the choice and supported Uber’s “transparency and commitment to protecting survivors.”



Uber’s Chief Legal Officer Tony West stated throughout a Tuesday interview that no regulator had beforehand requested Uber for personally identifiable info of sexual assault victims, and stated the CPUC had not disclosed why it wanted the data.

“While it may be well intentioned, (contacting those individuals) can lead to the retraumatization of survivors,” West stated, including that Uber had repeatedly supplied to resolve the dispute outdoors litigation.

The CPUC didn’t reply to a request for remark.

In the December order, a CPUC administrative choose stated privateness considerations might be addressed by changing victims’ names with a code to permit fee employees to conduct follow-up investigations, however upheld the $59 million fine in opposition to the corporate.

The dispute stems from a security report Uber launched in December 2019, disclosing 6,000 experiences of sexual assault associated to 2.3 billion journeys within the United States in 2017 and 2018.

That report, aimed toward making certain drivers and the general public that Uber was critical about security, has put the corporate within the highlight. U.S. rival Lyft Inc. has promised a related report, however has but to launch it.

On Monday, the advocacy group RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), appealed the CPUC’s order.

“Companies should be commended, not penalized, for their transparency and commitment to protecting survivors,” the non-profit wrote in a public submitting.

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