Uber to implement safety measures that will use biometrics and ‘scientific analysis’ to screen drivers

December 18, 2014 - 

Uber announced in a blog post this week it is currently conducting a “global review” of its safety measures with plans to introduce new safety initiatives in the new year, following recent lawsuits that allege the company made false claims about the safety of its App-based car service, according to a report by the LA Times.

In an official blog post titled “Our Commitment to Safety”, Uber global safety head Phillip Cardenas said the company would “build new safety programs and intensify others.”

Cardenas said Uber is investing in “research and development on biometrics and voice verification to build custom tools for enhanced driver screening,” and “using scientific analysis and technology to find solutions” to ensure a more effective driver background check process.

However, it is unclear what the “scientific analysis” and “biometrics” technology entail, not to mention whether the new safety initiatives would include fingerprinting Uber drivers.

Earlier this month, both the Los Angeles and San Francisco district attorneys filed lawsuits against Uber over allegations that the San Francisco-based company misleads consumers about the safety of their car-hailing service.

In the lawsuit, San Francisco Dist. Atty. George Gascon said Uber makes false statements about how it employs an “industry-leading background check process.”

However, Gascon argues that the mere fact that Uber does not fingerprint its drivers renders these criminal checks “completely worthless.”

It remains to be seen whether Uber’s new safety measures will appease regulators, or if they will follow the taxicab industry’s strict safety rules that makes it mandatory for all drivers to undergo criminal background checks that use fingerprinting.

Previously reported, India’s government recently implemented a new safety initiative that makes it mandatory for all radio fleet taxi operators in the country to provide biometric verification of their drivers, in light of the nation’s rising sex crimes which includes an assault of a female passenger by an Uber taxi driver.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.