Uber and Toronto Crime Stoppers launch partnership to help report crime anonymously

Dec 13 2018, 2:37 pm

Uber and Toronto Crime Stoppers are launching a new partnership that provides drivers with “tools to report potential criminal activity while keeping their identity anonymous.”

While it is an international initiative, Toronto is one of the initial markets to launch in Canada.

According to Uber, drivers in Toronto received a message on Thursday with details to report potential crimes to the Crime Stoppers hotline and online portal. That information can then be shared with Toronto Crime Stoppers.

“This partnership is the result of Uber listening to the communities we serve. Uber has invested in a global team of former law enforcement professionals, response team specialists, and an online portal for law enforcement use only,” said Mike Sullivan, Head of Global Law Enforcement Operations. “These components work together to inform, cooperate with, and respond to law enforcement’s investigative needs.”

Uber said that this year its global team that works with police on investigations has doubled, with its law enforcement personnel briefing more than 250 agencies on how to be a resource to help solve crimes.

Sean Sportun of Toronto Crime Stoppers calls this an excellent example of a local vision.

“The partnership between Toronto Crime Stoppers and Uber is aimed to mobilize drivers to anonymously report criminal activity,” said Sportun. “This is an excellent example of a local vision that began in Toronto, which has now become a global need to create a synergy of information gathering towards enhancing community safety.”

Uber and Crime Stoppers say they share a common goal of making it easier to anonymously report potential criminal activity.

“We have committed to signing the Hague Accord at the Crime Stoppers International conference in the Netherlands,” reads a release by Uber. “By signing the accord, we will join other major corporations and governments in endorsing the concept and value of anonymous crime reporting.”

While the idea is potentially comforting in terms of crime and public safety, having drivers anonymously report issues may raise privacy concerns.

Earlier this fall, a video taken in an Uber showed seven Ottawa Senators players making fun of their team’s poor performance.

The video, which was taken without the players’ consent, went viral and the players had to issue an apology to their team and coaches. And even though it wasn’t a crime, it shows the reach an Uber video can obtain when released.

Perhaps, silence will be a virtue in Uber drives from now on.

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