(By Shashidhar KJ & Vikas SN)

Woes for the app-based taxi booking service Uber continues: The female victim who was allegedly raped by one of Uber’s drivers last month, plans to sue the company for negligence in the US courts and has hired New York-based litigator Douglas Wigdor for this, reports The Guardian.

Wigdor confirmed to the publication that he has been hired by the unidentified woman to look into the possibility of suing Uber in US courts since the company’s driver screening and passenger safety policies was formulated in the United States, although the victim is not from the United States. However, he didn’t disclose any further details on this development.

Meanwhile in India, a Delhi court had charged Uber driver Shiv Kumar Yadav with rape, kidnapping and criminal intimidation last week. He’s also been charged with forgery for obtaining a fake character certificate through which he had secured the driver permit.

Uber’s security lapses

Uber’s security lapses have been growing and its not limited to India alone. In the past month, two Uber Chicago drivers were charged of sexually assaulting their passengers. A Uber Boston driver was also accused of rape and kidnapping his customer last month while a Uber San Francisco driver was charged with killing an young girl last month.

The company has also now been banned in several countries like China, Spain, Thailand, and US cities like South Carolina and Portland among others, for operating with unlicensed cars. Delhi transport department had also banned Uber last month, following which it had suspended operations in the city.

Uber however had promised to invest more on consumer safety across all the 260 cities it operates in, last month. This includes initiating research & development on biometrics and voice verification to build custom tools for improved driver screening and building Safety Incident Response teams globally among others. It had also rolled out additional safety measures & precautions in India which includes:

Police Verification: Re-verifying all Uber Delhi driver have an authentic and valid police verification.

Document Verification: A local team of specially-trained safety experts will detect fraud, verify and authenticate driver & vehicle documents and also test the validity of its screening.

Background Checks: Uber will be engaging local and global experts to evaluate an effective background screening solution across India, above and beyond the required government verification. Pilots of this solutions is already running in select cities including Delhi.

Incident Response Team: A local and dedicated customer support center that will specialise on resolving critical issues for Uber riders and its driver community in India.

– In-App Safety Features: An improved ShareMyETA button that allows passengers to send their complete trip details (including live GPS tracking, driver photo, name and vehicle license no.). Other safety feature is also apparently in the works.

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