IBIA urges ridesharing firms to enforce fingerprint-based background checks

June 14, 2016 - 

The International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) has published a new white paper that makes a convincing case for why ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft ought to implement background checks that include FBI and state fingerprint holdings, in addition to other biographic searches, in order to thoroughly assess candidates for employment.

According to the white paper, entitled “Uber and Lyft: Fingerprint-Based Criminal Background Checks Essential to Assure Public Safety”, Uber and Lyft are not fulfilling their responsibility to reduce public safety risks if they choose to ignore the information stored in these databases.

IBIA’s white paper provides data on the proven accuracy of fingerprint-based background checks, the fast turnaround times to process requests, the accessibility of the fingerprint collection service locations in the United States, and the ability to perform continuous vetting as a result of the FBI’s new Rap Back service.

“There are significant risks in relying solely on a biographic background check,” said Tovah LaDier, managing director at IBIA “Biographic searches are vulnerable to data entry errors and attempts to use false or misleading biographic information to thwart detection.

“Uber has created a business revolution based upon the use of technology. It is ironic Uber would prefer an antiquated and vulnerable process by relying solely on name-based background checks of its applicants.”

Without being subjected to a fingerprint-based background check, drivers with criminal arrest records can easily provide false biographic information to hide their true identity and background, and ultimately expose the public to a potential risk.

The paper also asserts that the popularity of a new business model for ridesharing does not properly justify exemption from underlying statutes and regulations to protect the safety and security of the public.

Fingerprint-based background checks are now required for employment in a broad range of professions that involve the safety and security of the public, access to private data, unescorted access to restricted areas, or unmonitored access to vulnerable populations.

These professions include taxi drivers, airport workers, teachers, real estate professionals, mortgage brokers, security guards, day care workers, home health aides, nurses, government employees, and even most school volunteers.

So far, Uber and Lyft have managed to combat such regulation by withdrawing from cities that have implemented such public safety measures.

Previously reported, the International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) released a new white paper titled “Closing the Loop: Completing Biometric U.S. Entry-Exit” that outlines the growing need for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to partner with the biometrics industry and fulfil its longstanding mandate for biometric exit.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.