For 12 Months, An Uber Exec Shared The Medical Records Of A Rider Who Had Accused The Company Of Rape
Despite their smear campaign, the case was so open-and-shut that the accused was sentenced to life.
Following a pervasive investigation by two cooperating firms, multiple sources are reporting that, in response to a rape claim made by an Uber rider against a driver, a high-level executive procured and shared the victim’s sexual history with others in the company.
Eric Alexander, Uber’s president of business for the Asia Pacific, obtained the accuser’s records through undisclosed means and, for a year, held and shared them with other Uber principals, including CEO Travis Kalanick, while the matter was investigated.
Though the matter was discovered during self-imposed investigations that led to the termination of 20 Uber corporate employees, Alexander’s termination did not come as a result of the investigations. He was abruptly fired yesterday, when the company learned this exposé was imminent. Uber refused to comment on the matter further, according to reporting done by Recode.
Given the timing, many assume that Recode’s investigative journalism—not the company’s prolonged awareness—led to Alexander’s recent dismissal.
The high-profile rape accusations were made by a 26-year-old female Uber rider in 2014, and the case seemed largely open-and-shut when it was revealed that her driver had been working for the company while awaiting trial on four other serious criminal charges. He was later sentenced to life in prison for his actions, but the incident was sensational enough that it sidelined Uber’s operations until the middle of 2015, which would certainly give the company a motive to debunk the rape victim’s accusation.
This corporate procurement of medical records during an ongoing case is strange enough that while it may reek of impropriety, the legality of the matter may not be immediately clear to laypeople. Nonetheless, sources posit there is no legitimate reason that a company under investigation for the rape of one of its customers would be privy to private medical records of an ongoing investigation, especially not to executives with no legal or medical background to evaluate them. As such, it would seem that illegal solicitation of the records would be the only manner of procurement.
Sadly, to list this terrible trespass among Uber’s other recent acts—which range from “distasteful” to “disgusting”—seems like an exercise in redundancy, when such accusations percolate on a near-weekly basis. Should you wish to revisit or educate yourself on the company’s earlier troubles, this timeline offers a comprehensive look at the company’s controversies through March.
Should you opt not to spend any more time studying this woebegone and increasingly frightening firm and its practices, here’s a shorter missive that may resonate now more than ever, in light of the clandestine smear campaign by a company against a 26-year-old rape victim: