© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Uber logo is seen in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles
By Tina Bellon (Reuters) – Uber Technologies (NYSE 🙂 Inc on Wednesday appealed a $ 59 million fine imposed by a California regulator in a dispute over whether the company should share detailed information about reported sexual assault and harassment allegations. on your shared transportation platform. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) fined Uber in December after the company refused to share information, including full names and contact information, arguing that doing so would violate victims’ right to privacy. On Monday, an anti-sexual assault group also appealed the decision, supporting “transparency and Uber’s commitment to protecting survivors.” Uber Chief Legal Officer Tony West said during an interview Tuesday that no regulator had previously asked Uber for personally identifiable information on sexual assault victims, and he said the CPUC had not disclosed why it needed the data. “While it may be well-intentioned, (contacting those people) can lead to the retraumatization of survivors,” West said, adding that Uber had repeatedly offered to resolve the dispute out of litigation. The CPUC did not respond to a request for comment. In the December order, a CPUC administrative judge said privacy concerns could be addressed by replacing the victims’ names with a code that allows commission staff to conduct follow-up investigations, but kept the fine of 59 million. dollars against the company. The dispute stems from a safety report Uber published in December 2019, which reveals 6,000 reports of sexual assault related to 2.3 billion trips in the United States in 2017 and 2018. That report, intended to ensure drivers and the The public that Uber was serious about safety has put the company in the spotlight. American rival Lyft Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 has promised a similar report, but has yet to release it. On Monday, the advocacy group RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) appealed the CPUC’s order. “Businesses should be commended, not penalized, for their transparency and commitment to protecting survivors,” the nonprofit wrote in a public document.