Uber takes on expert safety advisors


Uber has announced the creation of a dedicated safety advisory board as startups operating in the sharing economy look to combat growing security concerns.


The six-member panel will advise the giant ridesharing app on internal safety and security procedures for both passengers and drivers.


As the LA Times reports, the board will include a former police officer, a former executive of the Texas Department of Transport and the executive vice president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.


The board will focus on the physical safety of all involved and how best to work with local authorities.

The panel will have its work cut out for it, with numerous and various concerns raised over the safety of the app, including over driver background checks.


There has been growing controversy surrounding the security and insurances of the sharing economy after numerous assaults involving Uber drivers, while safety issues have also recently come to the fore for Airbnb.


A data breach in February affected up to 50,000 Uber drivers in California, and the safety board will also be addressed cybersecurity.


Uber’s first chief security officer Joe Sullivan tells the LA Times that it’s important to view this issue from all perspectives.


“Throughout my careers as I’ve focused on tech security and safety, one of the things I’ve always known is you can’t do it alone, especially with emerging tech and the evolution of products going so quickly,” Sullivan says.


“You always need to look at it from a lot of different perspectives.”


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Denham Sadler is the editor of StartupSmart. He was previously a journalist at the publication and has worked as a freelancer for the Guardian, the Saturday Paper and the ABC. In his spare time he likes puns and jaffles.