QCOSTARICA – DiDi Costa Rica has implemented a new trip monitoring feature that will help sanction drivers who sexually harass customers. The tool tracks trips in real time and detects anomalies to generate alerts about possible incidents.
If it is found that a driver committed sexual harassment, access to the application will be limited, and if the user files a criminal complaint, the company will collaborate with the J Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ).
The system triggers alerts and actions if a trip stops unexpectedly or if it takes significantly longer than the application initially calculated based on distance and traffic conditions, among other variables. The alerts will be received by both drivers and passengers.
“If a trip exceeds the threshold of minutes that we have defined, a first intervention is launched, which consists of generating a push notification to confirm that both the user and the driving partner are okay. The same happens if there is an abnormal stop. If there is no response, the case is immediately referred to the Security Kit available in the app and, from that moment, communication can be established with our emergency center or directly with 911.
“This is replicated in different stages, under criteria of time and evolution of the trip, which increase the level of alert and which can lead to our security collaborators contacting those involved, who are sent to the company’s private security patrols, K-9, with whom we have an alliance to provide accompaniment on site or that we also alert public security authorities,″ explained DiDi’s director of security operations for Latin America, Pablo Lamuraglia.
The application activates the monitoring system automatically on all trips and works 24 hours a day. In addition, it also ensures the safety of drivers, in the event that they are the victims. All cases will be dealt with according to the degree of the problem, but there is even the possibility that the trip will be intervened by the Police.
“For example, if a person requests a trip that normally takes 15 minutes, however, on the way the monitoring detects a stop or a very slow progress, not related to traffic congestion conditions, traffic lights or similar, that has exceeded the barrier, for example, of 20 minutes, a first intervention is generated automatically, in which it is sought that those involved confirm that they are okay.
“In the event that confirmation is made, but the system notices that the unusual behavior continues, a new preventive action will be generated that finally, depending on the situation and the level of risk, may lead to a deployment of face-to-face support or even an alert the authorities,” declared Lamuraglia.
The company says that although 99% of its trips end without any reported incident, the reality at the national level is different, mainly on the roads, where a street sexual harasser is arrested every three days, according to police data as of December 2020.
Likewise, the company takes into account that the majority of victims are women and that the statistics themselves confirm this, since according to the Observatory of Gender Violence against Women and Access to Justice, during 2019 4,581 complaints were received from women, compared to 1,905 of men, which “reflects a complex scenario and exposes a real problem” on issues of gender inequality.
DiDi also joined the Foundation for Peace and Democracy (Funpadem) to develop an information campaign to provide information on the scope of the new Law against street sexual harassment.
What is street harassment and how to act in these situations will be addressed through messages on social networks, emails and information capsules within the DiDi app.
“We are looking for mechanisms that help us promote safe spaces free of street sexual harassment for all people,” said Carlos Rivera Bianchini, president of Funpadem.