February 28, 2016 -
The Boston Police Department (BPD) announced that it has begun fingerprinting all licensed cab drivers in the city as part of its background check process, according to a report by Boston.com.
According to the BPD, cab drivers will be required to submit fingerprints as part of an annual license renewal process.
Fingerprinting has been a contentious issue in the debate over how to best regulate ride-share competitors like Uber and Lyft. Uber and Lyft say their drivers should not be fingerprinted because they already conduct third-party background checks.
Uber has publicly criticized fingerprinting as potentially discriminatory but has quietly tested live scan fingeprinting on some drivers.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said in a statement posted on BPD’s blog that fingerprinting cab drivers would increase passenger safety.
“When the citizens of Boston get into cab, they trust that operator to get them to their destination safely every single time,” he said. “Fingerprinting is another step we can take as a police department to help make sure that happens.”
Boston lawmakers are expected to soon release a new bill related to services like Uber and Lyft.