Category: Actualités

15 Dec

Uber says employee tracked journalist because she was late

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Sen. Al Franken, who raised concerns about the ride-sharing startup’s privacy policies, says he is concerned about the lack of detail in Uber’s response.

By Steven Musil | Source: CNET

Addressing concerns that it didn’t respect the privacy of its customers, Uber said Monday that one of its employees checked a journalist’s ride on the service because she was 30 minutes late to a meeting the two had scheduled.

12 Dec

Taxi meter, are you talking to me?

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Blind olympian
Donaovan Tildesley likes talking taxi meters. (Photo: LinkedIn)

Robert De Niro once famously asked his own reflection, “Are you talking to me?” Now real life Vancouver taxi drivers can ask the same question of their meters, thanks to new talking meters.

For the first time in Canada, and possibly even North America, accessible cabs will be fitted with talking taxi meters.  MacLure’s Cabs, Vancouver Taxi, Yellow Cab and Black Top & Checker Cabs, all members of the Vancouver Taxi Association (VTA), will replace all meters and install the new “talking meters” to provide a better service to seniors and individuals with disabilities.

VTA’s Carolyn Bauer says the introduction of this innovation will help the city take a step towards meeting its Accessibility 2024 goal of becoming the nation’s most progressive province for people with disabilities.

According to the Metro newspaper, three-time Paralympian swimmer Donovan Tildesley said the talking meter could stop visually-impaired customers being overcharged, something he said he has experienced himself.

Moving forward, seniors and people with disabilities will ask a taxi driver to activate the audio feature as soon as they step into a taxi. The meter will indicate the starting fare, the fare incremental increases as well as the final amount.

11 Dec

Meet Uber’s hedge-fund-like, Bermuda-based insurer

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James River Group, Uber’s insurer, paid a tax rate of just 12.6% last year. It invests in bank loans rated below junk. And it’s about to issue an IPO.

By Stephen Gandel | Source: Fortune

Critics of Airbnb, Uber, and other companies in the so-called sharing economy argue that these companies are structured to avoid paying taxes. It appears that even companies on the fringes of the sharing economy are looking to dodge Uncle Sam.

10 Dec

Chicago Police Investigating Uber Driver Accused of Sexual Assault

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Uber has removed the driver from the service

By Sam Frizell | Source: Time

Chicago police are investigating an Uber driver who was accused of sexually assaulting a passenger last month. The alleged assault occurred on Nov. 16, Chicago police said, but no other details about the incident have been released, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. As of Wednesday, no charges had been filed.

10 Dec

California sues Uber in startup’s latest legal woe

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By Paul Elias | Source: Associated Press

California prosecutors sued Uber over the ride-booking company’s driver background checks and other allegations, adding to the popular startup’s legal woes in the U.S. and around the world.

The lawsuits filed Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court are the latest legal hurdles for the nascent ride-hailing industry. The industry in general — and Uber in particular — have been battling lawsuits and regulatory issues over whether the businesses are regulated taxi services or app-making technology companies.

“Uber continues to misrepresent and exaggerate background checks on drivers,” Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “It’s not our goal to shut them down. What we’re saying is their advertising is false.”

10 Dec

East Bay Uber driver charged in death of 6-year-old San Francisco girl

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Source: Bay City News Service

SAN FRANCISCO – An Uber driver accused of striking and killing a 6-year-old girl while driving in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, a district attorney’s office spokesman said.

Syed Muzzafar, 57, of Union City, was booked into jail on the charge but has since been released on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at the Hall of Justice on Wednesday morning, district attorney’s office spokesman Alex Bastian said.

Muzzafar allegedly fatally struck Sofia Liu as she walked with her mother and brother in a crosswalk at Polk and Ellis streets at about 8 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2013, police said. Sofia’s family members were injured in the collision but survived.

09 Dec

How the anti-Uber backlash is spreading around the world

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By Adam Taylor | Source: The Washington Post

There’s no doubt that Uber, a car-sharing service launched in San Francisco in 2009, is a booming business. With billions in estimated revenues it’s now set up in more than 200 cities in 51 countries.

It’s equally sure, however, that the company has had its share of domestic controversies, from accusations of sabotage against competitors to suggestions that they would threaten journalists. Internationally, when dealing with different laws and cultures, the potential for new controversies is likely even higher.