Incident said to relate to Uber driver in India.
In early December 2014, an Uber driver took a woman to an isolated area and raped her, a Delhi court found. Shiv Kumar Yadav, the Uber driver, was convicted in October 2015 for rape and kidnapping, and was sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime. An Uber spokesperson confirmed to several news agencies that Alexander was no longer on the Uber payroll, but offered no further comment.
Eric Alexander, who ran Uber’s business in Asia, is said to have shared the records with the company’s chief executive, Travis Kalanick, over a year ago.
In the weeks and months following the sexual assault, management at the top of Uber apparently postulated the theory that the rape victim was in fact part of an elaborate conspiracy by a domestic Indian based competitor to frame and shame Uber to in India. The rape case was responsible for Uber being temporarily banned in India.
At the time Uber said “sexual assault is a terrible crime and we’re pleased he has now been brought to justice”, adding it had improved security due to “lessons we learned from this awful case”.
The attorney who represented the victim when she sued Uber in the US for negligence and fraud, Douglas Wigdor, said: “It is incredible in this day and age that one could even fathom that a legitimate rape victim was part of a conspiracy by a rival firm to harm Uber… Sadly, these views, coupled with the scrutiny of private medical records, support rape culture and must end.”
An Uber spokesperson said that the company had cooperated with the prosecution in the case and chose to settle out of court for a reported $1 million.
Accused had previous
At the time the attack too place, the now convicted Uber driver, Yadav, was facing several other charges, including awaiting trial on another rape case.
Technology news site Recode reported that Mr Alexander was fired only after they contacted the company about the story. According to Recode, the victim’s medical records were seen by Uber boss, Kalanick, and senior vice president, Emil Michael.
Revolving door policy?
The news is the latest in a series of high-profile scandals greatly affecting Uber’s reputation. Last week, the company announced it had fired 20 people as the result of an independent investigation into a culture of sexual harassment and other misconduct at the company.