The couple was heading back to Manhattan on Saturday after celebrating a friend's birthday at a Brooklyn bar.
"We were sitting on opposite sides of the backseat", Pichl explains.
"The middle seat was open".
But both Iovine and Pichl said they kissed once and were not touching inappropriately.
"If we can be a part of a solution to make things better to help some of these owner-operators get out from underwater and to continue making a better life and to make a decent life and to help themselves", he continued, "we want to do that".
"You can't do this in the car", the driver says.
"You don't do that here in the car". There's an argument that it doesn't matter, of course, and that no matter who pays it, the fee will wind up passed along to customers.
The driver says: "Yeah, it is illegal". He later added, "It's disrespectful".
Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] has hired Facebook Inc product director Daniel Danker as its head of driver product, Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said in a tweet on Wednesday. According to a screenshot of his profile, provided to CNN by Pichl, he had a 4.67 rating and received dozens of commendations on the app for "excellent service".
El Boutari told the New York Daily News that he was uncomfortable with the couple's behavior in his car on the whole, not just with the kiss.
"It's my own car. I didn't feel comfortable with them", he told the newspaper, adding that he asked the couple to stop kissing. While a New York medallion could cost close to $1 million as recently as 2013, they can now be had for less than $200,000, a crushing loss in value for many drivers. "We would never disrespect someone else's car in such manner and we always handle ourselves appropriately in public", Iovine said.
The Manhattan couple filed a complaint with Uber, which contacted the pair, apologized and said the company would fully refund their ride.
Spokesman Allen Fromberg said: 'It's 2018 in New York City, and this isn't the way we live anymore.
Uber, which is based in San Francisco, has removed El Boutari's access to its app, saying it does not tolerate discrimination. The city medical examiner has not determined a cause of death, but Chow's family members believe he jumped to his death. "But I think this has inspired us to get our voice out there more and get out there to celebrate everything this community has done, (what) we have to offer as human beings and the rights that we deserve".
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