Authorities in India have imposed an immediate ban on web-based, on-demand cab service, Uber, after a rape allegation was made against one of its drivers.
Having launched in Cairo last month, it begs the question as to how safe the service might be here in Egypt where sexual harassment is rife and police are rather passive towards the issue. Like ‘Om El Donia’, India has a long and sordid recent history of sexual harassment problems and Indian police have claimed that the company hadn’t run a thorough background check on the accused, who was acquitted on another rape charge in 2012.
This is not the first controversy to hit Uber; many cab companies in Europe and the US have criticised the San Francisco based company for not complying to regulations and for hiring non-registered drivers.
In addition, an Uber executive admitted to poaching drivers from rivals in the States and the Middle East last month – it’s not illegal, but it’s not cool, either.
So far, reviews in Cairo have been positive, but with the service still set to expand, one can’t help but be concerned by the trail of controversy that seems to follow Uber everywhere.