Lyft reports over 4,000 sexual assaults in three years

Image from the article titled You Call It A Safety Report, Lyft?

Photo: Mario tama (Getty Images)

Lyft finally released its safety report, three and a half years behind schedule, with 16 pages (two filler). It’s dated and incomplete, and next to Uber’s 84 pages Audit 2019, it looks like a file. Three years? Truly?

Lyft and Uber had initially promised to deliver in May 2018 follow a CNN investigation of Uber drivers accused of sexual assault. (In the aftermath, Lyft also ended forced arbitration for victims of sexual assault). Lyft then blocked with promises in 2019, and again in 2020. We are approaching November 2021.

What the report tells us: Lyft had 4,158 reports of sexual assault by drivers and bikers between early 2017 and late 2019. These include five “most serious” forms of sexual assault such as defined by the anti-sexual violence law. RALIANCE organization, including: non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part and a sexual body part, non-consensual touching of a sexual body part, attempted non-consensual penetration and non-consensual penetration. It excludes 16 other categories of assault, including masturbation, verbal threats, and unsuccessful attempts to kiss and touch non-consensually.

As Uber did, Lyft contextualizes them as fractions of fractions of percentages of total trips taken.

Lyft also counted 105 motor vehicle deaths and 10 fatal physical assaults. The company claims to have collected information from internal reports, law enforcement reports (at Lyft), news and social media posts.

What’s missing here: 2020, obviously. Lyft told Gizmodo via email that its limited data set was related to the fact that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had yet to release the 2020 numbers – that still doesn’t explain why it hasn’t. did not count sexual assaults or deaths. last year because it only uses NHTSA information for motor vehicle fatalities.

But the big hole in the middle: Lyft hides non-fatal physical assaults, with no explanation. This category is important! Earlier this year, the markup reported finding 124 Uber and Lyft driver car hijackings over the past year and a half, which is almost certainly well below the actual number. Uber and Lyft did not share their own data, so the markup relied on driver interviews, media coverage, and police reports – an extremely limited data set due to not all drivers reporting not, that the media does not cover all carjackings, and most police departments do not note whether the victim was a carpool driver. Lyft declined to provide these figures to Gizmodo.

If they had, it could raise questions about why the company has would have declined to cover medical expenses and property damage of drivers who have been hijacked by app users. A Lyft spokesperson told Gizmodo that its “specialist safety team” is helping drivers and families, but did not say whether it offers financial support.

“[Carjackings] happen all the time, and leaders know it, ”Gig Workers Rising, a campaign to organize workers in concert, told Gizmodo by email. “Yet they do nothing to protect their workers and continue to earn millions of dollars each year for themselves. We ask Lyft and all other concert companies to provide transparency not only on deaths and sexual assault, but also on non-fatal assaults. Injured workers matter, and we should know their stories and their names ”

In an appendix, the authors of the Chertoff Group report, a cybersecurity and risk management firm, noted that Lyft had requested a “limited scope” of information and were not asked to inspect the way. whose data Lyft collected and categorized.

Without deviating too much from the methodology, it’s important for researchers to verify how Lyft sees incidents as relevant. Lyft and Uber, using company data, tend to produce flattering stats by funding metrics, like limiting how they keep track of hours worked, which let them claim that drivers earn more than double the amount estimated by outside researchers.

Lyft told Gizmodo that this delayed the release because they were waiting for Uber settle a dispute with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which fined the company $ 59 million for refusing to provide further details of the sexual assault so the government could investigate. (That ended up coming in at around $ 9.1 million.) Lyft believes that sharing victims ‘names would invade victims’ privacy.

But this case also aimed to gather the information necessary to guarantee that Uber adequately protects workers and passengers. Lyft sits on valuable statistics on crimes committed under their watch this, At least, merit to be better understood.

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