Uber driver background checks “misled customers”
Uber has got itself in hot water yet again, after appearing to lie about the depth of its background checks.
District attorneys in California have filed court papers accusing the transport company of being dishonest and misleading customers into thinking that its driver screening process was more rigorous than it was. It’s claimed that 25 drivers hired by Uber in the US had criminal backgrounds which the firm had failed to spot.
The problem lied in the data Uber used to check the backgrounds of drivers, district attorney George Gascon said at a press conference. For example, the database did not contain the records of 30,000 registered sex offenders. Moreover, he described how Uber’s vetting process only covered the past seven years, nytimes.com reports. Though these cases relate to America, Uber’s growing popularity in the UK has thrown up questions about the thoroughness of its vetting on this side of the Atlantic.
Gascon referred to rival cab firm Livescan as an example of quality vetting, as it was able to catch people who were on the sex offenders list. However, Uber has taken issue with the claim that Livescan was safer.
In a statement, Uber said that “hundreds” of cab drivers not working for Uber were run through its vetting system and it found that many working drivers had convictions for rape, attempted murder, child abuse and violence.
Referring to its UK service, Uber said that drivers are subjected to the same strict checks that all black cab and licensed vehicle drivers must go through.