Sharing economy is new and rapidly developing with technology giants Uber and Airbnb as you have mentioned already. Although it has benefits, but there is a downside as well. SFU (2017) states “This largely unregulated sector creates a plane of unfair competition with traditional industries by avoiding the usual taxes, licensing fees, personnel training costs, insurance fees and other regulatory headaches.”
“The success of these new platforms has prompted a steep decline in their respective industries,” says Andy Hira. “Whether in the hotel or taxi industry, we’re seeing a loss of employee benefits and job insecurity. The sharing economy is here to stay, and new regulatory frameworks and government support can move us towards enhancing the positive aspects of the sharing economy and reducing the negatives.” (SFU, 2017)
Talking about safety, I have not heard good things about Uber and thus consider it to be unsafe. The MET Police reported, “the Senior officer says the firm was putting concerns for its reputation over public safety by not notifying police of some serious crimes.” (Guardian, 2017) Uber’s behaviour can no way be justified as they failed to keep the Business ethics by putting their company’s interest first and their client’s safety as secondary. The theory of egoism, explains human behaviour where one puts their interests and happiness above everything else. So, in Uber’s case, this action might be considered to be good as it increased their overall benefit/happiness by covering a crime to save company’s reputation. But looking for a customer’s perspective, it was an unethical and immoral act.
Guardian (2017) Uber failing to report sex attacks by drivers, says Met police.
Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/aug/13/uber-failing-to-report-sex-attacks-by-drivers-says-met-police (Accessed: 17 January 2018)
SFU (2017) The downside of Uber, Airbnb and the sharing economy. Available at: https://www.sfu.ca/university-communications/issues-experts/2017/the-downside-of-uber-airbnb-and-the-sharing-economy.html (Accessed: 17 January 2017)