Don't‌ ‌touch‌ ‌or‌ ‌flirt‌ ‌with‌ ‌people‌ ‌you‌ ‌don't‌ ‌know.‌ ‌That's the message from Uber for drivers and users of the ride-hailing service in new standards on physical contact.

"Personal‌ ‌space‌ ‌and‌ ‌privacy‌ ‌should‌ ‌be‌ ‌respected‌ ‌at‌ ‌all‌ ‌times," the company says on the standards listed on its website.

"Behaviours‌ ‌and‌ ‌comments‌ ‌that‌ ‌could‌ ‌make‌ ‌people‌ ‌feel‌ ‌uncomfortable‌ ‌are‌ ‌not‌ ‌acceptable.‌"

Examples‌ ‌include‌ ‌nudges,‌ ‌sexual‌ ‌gestures,‌ ‌whistles‌, winks and flirting.‌ ‌

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"We‌ ‌believe‌ ‌that‌ ‌everyone‌ ‌should‌ ‌feel‌ ‌supported‌ ‌and‌ ‌welcomed.‌

"That's‌ ‌why‌ ‌we've‌ ‌created‌ ‌standards‌ ‌on‌ ‌physical‌ ‌contact,‌ ‌inappropriate‌ ‌conduct‌ ‌and‌ ‌sexual‌ ‌assault,‌ ‌threatening‌ ‌and‌ ‌rude‌ ‌behaviour,‌ ‌unwanted‌ ‌contact,‌ ‌discrimination‌ ‌and‌ ‌property‌ ‌damage.‌"

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Uber began ridesharing in New Zealand in May 2014.

This month the San Francisco-based company was to launch services in Rotorua, Taupō, Napier-Hastings, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Nelson, taking its number of operating cities in this country to 13.

It already operates in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin.

The company said it wanted to refresh its "community guidelines" to create a "safe, respectful and positive experience for everyone who uses the Uber apps". That includes Uber Eats.

In the updated guidelines, under "inappropriate conduct and sexual assault", Uber said certain‌ ‌conversations‌ ‌that could‌ ‌be‌ ‌perceived‌ ‌as‌ ‌harmless‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌offensive.‌

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"Don't‌ ‌comment‌ ‌on‌ ‌appearance,‌ ‌perceived‌ ‌gender‌ ‌identity‌ ‌or‌ ‌sexual‌ ‌orientation.‌ ‌

"Unrelated‌ ‌personal‌ ‌questions‌ ‌may‌ ‌offend,‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌'Are‌ ‌you‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌relationship?'‌ ‌Avoid‌ ‌discussing‌ ‌your‌ ‌own‌ ‌or‌ ‌someone‌ ‌else's‌ ‌sex‌ ‌life,‌ ‌using‌ ‌explicit‌ ‌language‌ ‌or‌ ‌making‌ ‌jokes‌ ‌about‌ ‌sex.‌"

Uber‌ ‌has‌ ‌a‌ ‌no-sex‌ ‌rule with sexual‌ ‌contact‌ ‌prohibited‌ ‌while‌ ‌using‌ ‌the‌ ‌Uber‌ ‌apps,‌ ‌including‌ ‌during‌ ‌a‌ ‌trip‌ ‌or‌ ‌on‌ ‌a‌ ‌delivery.‌

Under "Tips for riders and Uber Eats users", it says "Keep conversations casual and friendly with driver and delivery partners and co-riders. Don't ask personal questions or act aggressively toward others."

Drivers are similarly warned.

It added that contact should end once the trip or delivery is finished.

"For example, texting, calling, social media contact, visiting or trying to visit someone in person after the trip or delivery has been completed is not allowed."