D&S researcher Alex Rosenblat discusses safety and surveillance of Uber and Lyft drivers in Medium. From neighborhood discrimination to threats of violence, drivers describe safety issues while disclosing how they feel Uber and Lyft are surveilling them, such as through suspected camera spying.
When drivers discuss the dangers of their job, they usually reference a passenger who made them uncomfortable, or, more commonly, specific neighborhoods they avoid, such as by logging out when they’re nearby so they don’t get a ride request. Most drivers know it’s taboo to explicitly discriminate based on destination, and they generally express a willingness to accommodate passenger requests, but sometimes perceptions about dangerous neighborhoods become a factor in their risk assessment. (One of the big selling points for ridehail services is that they go where cabs refuse to venture, particularly to low-income, minority neighborhoods).