Miltenberg: “Uber Knows More About Its Rape Problem Than Anyone Else. What Should It Do With That Data?,” The Washington Post


SAN FRANCISCO — For the first time in its history, Uber this month reported data on the dangers of sexual assault on its app. Now it’s facing calls to action, requiring the ride-hailing giant to make tough decisions on how to balance victims’ wishes with demands to report dangerous riders and passengers to local regulators or law enforcement — or both. The dilemma: Does Uber have an obligation to tell authorities what it knows about potentially dangerous users of its app — or do more to ensure victims come forward? Uber doesn’t automatically go to police with the reports, which include potential felonies. Instead, it says it has adopted victim-centric policies aimed at leaving the decision to report up to the complaining party. That means law enforcement was involved in only 37 percent of reported rape cases, Uber said in its safety report. Uber disclosed that roughly 6,000 reports of sexual assault and 464 allegations of rape took place in its rides over the course of 2017 and 2018 … Some legal experts who think Uber should report its findings to law enforcement in the United States compared the company’s role to that of a college administrator bound by Title IX, the civil rights law and accompanying set of federal university guidelines on sexual assault. “It’s not unlike what happens at the college level,” said Andrew Miltenberg, a Title IX attorney at Nesenoff & Miltenberg LLP who has represented students accused of sexual assault. “They both gather information, they both are willing to provide services, they both have a mechanism by which to make some determination to speak to witnesses, and yet they have ultimately no real authority to turn in someone or make a local complaint with law enforcement.”

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