From Lalit K Jha Washington, Dec 11 (PTI) Uber needs to ensure safety of its passengers in the markets it operates, Yahoo chairman Maynard Webb has said in the aftermath of the California-based ride-sharing company facing backlash in India over the alleged rape of a woman by one of its drivers.
"I think they have to take a look at what are we doing to make sure that passengers are safe wherever they are," Webb said. "You have to be in the country and you have to iterate and change and adopt, and you have to have enough of a base to understand what would be the issues. "Frankly, as bad as that situation is, that same thing could happen with a driver in the US here," he said in an interview to Bloomberg TV yesterday.
"In all cases you're getting into somebody else's vehicle, and the company who provides that service needs to make sure it's safe. I think that will be something, if I were there I'd be working on in a very big way," said Webb, who was earlier COO of Ebay.
When Webb was Ebay COO, the India head of his company had to spend weeks behind the bar in India. "Somebody had put an illegal tape of two teenagers making love on the site and it was quickly taken down, but the police asked him to come down to the police station in a friendly way to give them updates on how he would deal with this in the future, and they locked him up and he stayed locked up for weeks," he said recollecting the incident.
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Webb said thereafter he worked with the then Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, to try to make it all work. "We worked night and day to try to get him out, and then also try to make sure we modified all of our policies to have this not happen again," he said.
Responding to Uber facing difficulties in the Indian market after the rape of a woman, he said, problems like this are opportunities for one to make his company far better. Meanwhile, the move of San Francisco and Los Angeles the two largest cities in California to stop Uber operations has been opposed by advocates who fear regulation could put brakes on innovation.
In a joint statement on Tuesday the district attorneys for both cities accused the ride-sharing company of "flagrant and unlawful business practices," and cited misleading statements about drivers' background checks as examples.