Uber Settles with Woman Whose Medical Files Were Accessed by an Executive
Uber has a lot of atoning to do.
Uber settled a lawsuit with an Indian woman who was raped by one of the ride-sharing company's drivers after it was revealed that a company executive improperly accessed her medical files. Uber would not comment on the terms of the settlement, but court documents indicate the deal will be confirmed in June, according to Reuters.
Among Uber's many scandals, this affair stands out. When the woman sued Uber for the 2014 incident, the driver was already awaiting trial for at least four other criminal charges. After he was arrested, he was sentenced to life in prison. Uber was publicly apologetic, but some executives did not believe all of the facts of the case.
That led Eric Alexander, who at the time led Uber's operations in the Asia Pacific region, to obtain the woman's medical records. He then showed the records to then-CEO Travis Kalanick and senior vice president Emil Michael. Uber staffers have said the three discussed the possibility that the rape was staged by Ola, Uber's Indian rival, to discredit the company.
This apparent violation of a person's privacy was revealed as part of an investigation commissioned by Uber in the wake of accusations of sexual harassment by a female former Uber engineer. Alexander was eventually fired as a result of the findings, and Kalanick resigned as CEO over the summer due to the general fallout from the scandal.
Uber has since appointed Dara Khosrowshahi as CEO, and he has made an effort to create a more ethical culture at Uber and address the backlog of scandals that began under his predecessor's watch. But with Uber currently facing at least five federal investigations and a trade-secrets legal battle with Waymo, among other things, Khosrowshahi has his work cut out for him.