Uber gets sued by a rape victim for privacy violations

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CIOL Uber gets sued again, this time its a women from Texas

If you ask us to explain Uber's situation, we will say, the company is currently on a bed of nails, very sharp nails.


Recently the company fired Eric Alexander for obtaining and sharing the medical records of a female passenger who was sexually assaulted during a ride in New Delhi, India. Now, the woman, identified as Jane Doe is suing the company as well as three current and former executives.

CIOL Uber gets sued again, this time its a women from Texas

Doe filed the lawsuit against Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, and former employees Alexander and Emil Michael in the federal district court of California for intrusion into private affairs, and publicly disclosing private facts. Demanding damages and injunction, she also stated in the suit that the three executives speculated her rape, in 2014, to be part of a conspiracy hatched by a competing ride-hailing company.


“Rape denial is just another form of the toxic gender discrimination that is endemic at Uber and ingrained in its culture,” Douglas Wigdor, Doe's lawyer told New York Times. “Hopefully, this lawsuit coupled with the changes recommended by the independent counsel will create real change and reform at Uber and elsewhere.”

The lawsuit further adds, “Uber has taken startup culture, in which “fierceness” and “always be hustling,” two key “Uber Competencies,” are prioritised above people to a new extreme, perpetuating rape culture and violating all bounds of decency as to customer privacy.”

Alexander, who was then the head of Uber’s Asia Pacific business, had sought the medical records because he and some other senior executives at Uber had doubts that the woman had been raped. Soon, without prior notice, Alexander was fired after two law firms Perkins Coie and Covington & Burling - leading the investigations - found that he had accessed the medical reports.


The company had already faced criticism for this case, back in 2015. The company was banned from operating in Delhi for a year, while the driver was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. The company also claimed that the woman had voluntarily “ended lawsuit” against the company and that a settlement of “more than a million dollars” was made in September 2015.

Joining a spate of scandals and controversies, this lawsuit is the latest blow for the cab-hailing company in the last few months. These controversies not only caused a long string of executive departures but also led Kalanick taking an indefinite leave of absence.

The company board has now decided to rewrite company culture with the recommendations given by the Former Attorney General Eric Holder and his law partner Tammy Albarrán, in an internal investigation of the company’s workplace practices and offer remedies.