April 10 (Reuters) - Uber Technologies said on Wednesday that it is boosting its safety features for passengers around the world, as it looks to minimize risk and ensure security for women at night.

The features allow passengers during a ride to select up to four safety preferences including encrypted audio recordings, PIN verification and live location sharing.

Uber has been facing scrutiny for years regarding its responses to thousands of alleged assaults by drivers with complaints ranging from failure to conduct proper background checks on drivers to inadequate safety training.

The company faces a number of lawsuits from victims accusing the ride-sharing platform of failing to prevent sexual assaults against passengers.

The company said in 2022 it had received about 3,800 reports of severe sexual assault in the U.S. in 2019 and 2020, down from nearly 6,000 over the prior two years.

Uber said the safety preferences are available across the U.S., Canada and Latin America and will be expanding to more countries in the coming weeks. (Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)