Journalist | covering tech & rights for Thomson Reuters Foundation @TRF_Stories | Tweets = personal | RT=hmm | aaschapiro gmail |

Productivity Tzar
Joined March 2013
For the past few months, @KimHarrisberg & I have been investigating how UberEats—& local firms mimicking its business model in South Africa—treat drivers injured or disabled on the job. We spoke to 27 injured drivers, & 6 former Uber corporate employees. longreads.trust.org/item/Sou…
5
203
29
449
Show this thread
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
🚨 Major win for EU rights & freedoms!! Italian Interior Ministry wanted to use live #FacialRecognition called SARI. Today, 🇮🇹 data protection authority agreed with @HermesCenter and @ReclaimYourFace that its current design constitutes unlawful 🚫 biometric "mass surveillance"
[ENG] 🔴🔴 BREAKING: ITALIAN DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY BLOCKS SARI REAL TIME, DEFINING IT - as designes - A POSSIBLE FORM OF MASS SURVEILLANCE garanteprivacy.it/web/guest/…
Show this thread
0
15
0
30
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
The @amazonIN is filled with fake N95 masks.
2
2
0
6
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
I’ll never forget my freshman year of college meeting graduates of nyc private schools who expected I would recognize their schools’ names and know general stuff about them
116
235
97
7,524
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
My co-author, @KimHarrisberg, was just on the BBC, listen 32 minutes in here: "What is most striking to us, is we spoke to nearly half-dozen former Uber [corporate] employees...they said the company was prioritizing growth over saftey." bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172xv…
2
11
0
30
Show this thread
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
So, in the end, drivers are helping each other out, as best they can. We observed one WhatsApp group of nearly 240 drivers that pings constantly with late-night requests for roadside assistance or photos of crashes. Drivers organized in the group to provide what aid they could.
1
9
0
44
Show this thread
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
All of this has gotten so much worse during COVID-19, as drivers are upping their hours on the road to make ends meet, and Uber closed its in-person support centers for drivers in South African cities.
1
11
0
28
Show this thread
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
In 2019, Uber introduced a insurance plan it said would pay some medical costs & lost wages. But, it was full of exceptions, for example: drivers had to prove they were in a hospital for 48 hours in order to qualify for lost wages We couldn't find anyone who made use of it.
5
20
1
56
Show this thread
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
It's hard to overstate how dangerous this job is: My colleague @KimHarrisberg visited a neighborhood in Johannesburg where up to 40 drivers slept on bunk-beds in between shifts behind a car wash - it looked like a make-shift hospital.
1
26
1
58
Show this thread
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
What happens when an UberEats driver gets hurt on the job? Of the 27 we spoke with, only 1 was compensated—& he worked for a local delivery firm, not UberEats. As independent contractors, Uber doesn't pay into the state injury "Compensation Fund," so drivers are on their own.
1
40
4
91
Show this thread
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
The take away from speaking to 6 former UberEats corporate employees was that the company prioritized rapid growth & customer satisfactions above all else. When a driver was hit by a car en-route to a delivery, we were told, getting food to the customer was the top priority.
2
27
2
65
Show this thread
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
We also found that for years, Uber didn't inspect the road worthiness of motorcycles. Despite the fact that South Africa has some of the most dangerous roads in the world. The problem has gotten worse during COVDI-19, with accidents involving food delivery drivers spiking 30%.
1
18
0
60
Show this thread
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
We found that Uber had a strategy of recruiting from South Africa's immigrant community, often people fleeing conflict zones. One ex-UberEats recruiter told us, ""(They) were desperate, all of them," noting this demographic was unlikely to push back against unsafe conditions.
2
44
3
101
Show this thread
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
In South Africa, UberEats recruited some of the most vulnerable workers—immigrants from conflict zones—to navigate deadly roads on dangerous motorbikes. So, what happened when they got disabled in accidents? ICYMI read @KimHarrisberg & my investigation: longreads.trust.org/item/Sou…
0
6
0
5
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
NEW: Big Tech is quietly pushing to protect itself from you at the state level. Watered-down “privacy” legislation is being ushered through 14 statehouses. The goal? Preempting greater protections. @ToddFeathers reports. themarkup.org/privacy/2021/0…
1
53
7
63
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
More than 30,000 people have told us, @AllOut & @ReclaimYourFace that the EU should ban AI recognition of gender & sexual orientation. "You can only think of horrible uses for this technology, especially for trans and non-binary people," says @djleufer: news.trust.org/item/20210416…
1
6
0
5
Show this thread
Avi Asher-Schapiro retweeted
.@KimHarrisberg and @AASchapiro spoke with 27 drivers in South Africa, many of whom are refugees fleeing war. One Uber driver was brain damaged and lost an eye in an accident. Many drivers reported going into debt to just to pay their medical bills longreads.trust.org/item/Sou… 2/3
3
4
0
12
Show this thread