There’s a new safety concern for Uber drivers and this time it doesn’t have to do with data breaches or passengers. According to NBC News, some Uber drivers are concerned that they are unknowingly delivering drugs via Uber Connect, Uber’s relatively new courier service.
NBC News interviewed six drivers from the US and Australia who all relayed similar stories of transferring suspicious looking packages for customers. Are these drivers unknowingly couriering illegal substances?
Uber prohibits customers from using Uber Connect to deliver illegal items from alcohol to medication or recreational drugs, however, parcels are also required to be securely sealed and drivers are forbidden from opening or looking inside packages.
One driver interviewed by NBC News said he took a package to the police station after becoming suspicious when he was handed an almost empty plastic bag.
"All I could see inside was one little baggy that had two crystallized forms in there," the driver told the outlet. "Immediately, I assumed it was some kind of narcotic." The driver took the suspicious package to the police but was nervous as the customer could track him on the Uber app. "I had my head on a swivel, because this person can see that I've diverted from the route, and if they know the area — which isn't very far from their house — they can see I'm sitting outside the substation," he said.
In a statement to NBC News, an Uber spokesperson said: "When we receive this type of report, our global safety team investigates and may take actions ranging from deactivating the relevant account to reporting the issue to law enforcement."
This isn’t the first time Uber has been under fire for safety reasons and sadly it won’t be the last, but we hope to see some steps taken to protect these drivers!