Uber and Lyft will work together to share information on US drivers and delivery people accused of physical and sexual assault to ensure those individuals are banned on both platforms, the two companies announced on Thursday in separate blog posts. HireRight, a company that specializes in conducting background checks, will oversee the Industry Sharing Safety Program database. Other transportation and delivery companies in the US will have the chance to contribute and access the database as long as they adhere to the same data accuracy and privacy policies that Uber and Lyft must follow.
"We want to share this information with each other and hopefully in the near future with other companies, so that our peers in this space can be informed and make decisions for their own platforms to keep those platforms safe," Jennifer Brandenburger, Lyft's head of policy development, told NBC News.
The database won't include information on victims. Additionally, the incident that landed a driver in the database will fall in broad categories.
Creating a joint database of physical and sexual abusers is a major step for the two companies. Both Uber and Lyft have been frequently and consistently criticized for doing too little to protect their passengers, particularly if they're women, from predatory drivers. When Uber published its first safety report in 2019, the company revealed it had received nearly 6,000 reports of sexual abuse reports between 2017 and 2018. In 2019, 14 unnamed women sued Lyft, alleging the company had failed to run adequate background checks on its drivers. Finding a way to share the identities of contractors whom it had removed from its platform was one of the actions Uber said it would take in its safety report.