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Uber’s Background Checks Missed Murder And DUI Convictions, Prosecutors Say

The ride-sharing app’s background check did not screen out 25 California drivers with criminal records.

Uber’s Background Checks Missed Murder And DUI Convictions, Prosecutors Say
[Photo: Flickr user Muhammad Ashiq]
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A recent amendment to a lawsuit filed against Uber last year indicates that the ride-hailing app’s screening process for prospective drivers is far from foolproof, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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On Wednesday, prosecutors revealed that Uber’s background checks had not flagged 25 drivers with criminal records across Los Angeles and San Francisco. Those drivers had given thousands of rides to customers in both cities, and one driver had previously served 26 years in prison for a second-degree murder conviction. Others had DUI and fraud convictions that were not detected by Uber’s screening.

The lawsuit, brought against Uber by district attorneys in L.A. and San Francisco, argued that Uber had duped customers into thinking its service was safer than it actually was. The company claims its background check looks at criminal records from up to seven years prior, but it does not request the fingerprints of potential drivers (unlike L.A.’s screening process for taxi drivers).

“I support technological innovation,” San Francisco district attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “Innovation, however, does not give companies a license to mislead consumers about issues affecting their safety.”

A few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times reported that the criminal records of four Uber drivers in L.A. would have banned them from operating a taxi in the city.

[via the Los Angeles Times]

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About the author

Pavithra Mohan is a staff writer for Fast Company.

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