Uber is set to release new audio features to its app that will allow for increased security.
This latest feature is the company's attempt to curb safety issues and incidents that have occurred as the platform grows. According to a Reuters report, while the company has not shared specific numbers, it has said in many financial statements that there are numerous and increasing reports of passengers or drivers in Latin America and the United States of Uber users being "victimized by violent crime, such as armed robbery, violent assault and rape, while taking or providing a trip" on their platform. A CNN report revealed that 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the past four years, and at least 31 drivers have been convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape. Dozens of criminal and civil cases are also pending, the report found.
The recordings will be encrypted, the company says, and would not be played back in the app. If a driver is accused of misconduct, the recording can be used as evidence. In addition, if requested, the company will share the recordings with law enforcement.
Uber says the new feature is specific to Latin America, but that it may eventually be available in other markets, such as the U.S.