Advertisement
Tech by VICE

Sex Offenders and a Convicted Murderer Passed Uber's Background Check

Prosecutors in California found criminals who had passed the test to drive for the ride-hailing company.

by Kari Paul
Aug 20 2015, 4:46pm

Image: Uber/Twitter

Ride hailing company Uber has allowed dozens of convicted criminals to slip through its background check process, California prosecutors are alleging this week.

The oversights were laid out in a complaint Thursday as part of an ongoing civil suit against Uber in California. Prosecutors cited "systemic failures in Uber's background check process" that approved registered sex offenders, a convicted murderer, and other drivers who had been convicted of assault and driving under the influence.

The suit said Uber intentionally misrepresented the thoroughness of its background check process, which it previously called "industry-leading." The company has often claimed its system was more thorough than those of traditional taxi services, like the background check technology Live Scan.

"We are learning increasingly that a lot of the information that Uber has been presenting the consumer has been false and misleading," San Francisco district attorney George Gascón said.

The attorneys cited 25 drivers with criminal records who drove thousands of customers in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but Gascón said the suit "is only really scratching the surface" of the issue.

Uber defended its process, saying it is at least equivalent to Live Scan and that it rejected more than 600 driving applicants in San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles in the last year alone.

"The reality is that neither is 100 percent foolproof — as we discovered last year when putting hundreds of people through our checks who identified themselves as taxi drivers," Uber's statement said, according to the New York Times. "That process uncovered convictions for D.U.I., rape, attempted murder, child abuse and violence."

Tagged:
tech
Motherboard
News
apps
California
taxi
uber
background checks
ridesharing
e-hail
Taxi-Apps