Digital Technology for the greater good

Uber, a popular map directions app, has recently installed a brand new “SOS” feature that allows user’s to make quick and easy calls to the local emergency services. this all came into play after a controversial sexual assault case in India 2 months ago. This feature brings safety to the forefront of digital apps as digital technology evolves in accessibility, it’s only a mater of time till emergency services progresses also. The addition of this app was in retaliation to the growing amount of sexual assaults in India. in an effort to aid and keep it’s users safe, they added this feature. Uber’s stance on this seems to be useless since if you’re using their app, you’re likely on a phone where you could then call emergency services easily; but it’s not just for accessibility but to to support the on going problem of women being raped and sexually assaulted in India. This app is going in the right direction of bringing awareness to overlooked societal issues,besides, it’s never bad to be too cautious.



4 thoughts on “Digital Technology for the greater good

  1. I also thought it was useless since you’re already on your phone when using it, but if the app allows you to send a message or some sort of signal without actually having to call then it could be useful in dangerous situations.


  2. This was a very smart PR move by Uber. Considering this has not only been in issue in just India (also sexual assault may just be a fear of many peoples’), it shows that Uber has the safety of it’s customers in mind, which builds trust between company and consumer.


  3. I have not heard of this app until reading your post. I think this was an excellent move by Uber to not only make the app for emergency calls but to help spread the awareness of sexual assault. I think by doing that it will attract more people to see what the app is about and hopefully start to use the app. In addition, like Bridget said, doing that will build trust between the company and consumer.


  4. In theory the idea of the sharing economy with entities such as Uber, Lyft and Air B’n’B (may have that misspelled) is really cool. The concept is using technology to connect people 1-to-1 in the “real world” to make more efficient use of physical resources for all parties.

    For example, with Air B’n’B I could hypothetically rent out the unused bedroom in my house that I am paying for with my mortgage, taxes and utilities but that has been largely vacant since two of my three children left for their own apartments. I could rent it a lot cheaper than a hotel chain or traditional B-and-B could. So I get some money, the guest saves a lot of money, and everybody wins, right?

    But this theory of technologically-enabled shared resources ignores some real human factors. Even if I rent to someone who has a good guest reputation on ABnB, there are no guarantees they will behave at my house the way they did at someone else’s. Or someone else could have rated them as a “good guest” based on different standards than I would use. Technological interaction can be slick, clean and easy most of the time. Real world relationships can be notoriously messy.

    There is a reason hotels and taxi companies are regulated by governments and trade groups, which is to ensure public safety. I think the reputation-based “sharing economy” has a way to go before it reaches those stringent standards.


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