Photo (cc) by Daniel M. Hendricks
A convicted murderer and several registered sex offenders are among 25 people with criminal records who have worked in Los Angeles and San Francisco as drivers for ride-booking company Uber Technologies, a lawsuit contends.
An expanded civil lawsuit filed this week accuses Uber of failing to uncover these California drivers’ criminal records, the Associated Press reports. The lawsuit is an updated version of a consumer-protection lawsuit filed last year by the district attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
It accused Uber of making “untrue or misleading representations regarding the quality of the background checks it performs on drivers and the measures it takes to ensure customer safety,” among other claims, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon announced in December.
Uber spokeswoman Jessica Santillo said in a statement this week that no background-check system is perfect, but added that Uber’s checks are just as detailed as background checks on taxi drivers, the AP reports.
Gascon said at a press conference, however, that Uber can’t support such claims unless its drivers undergo the same fingerprinting process required of taxi drivers in California.
According to The New York Times, the lawsuit says Uber’s background check process:
- Doesn’t use biometric identifiers such as fingerprints.
- Can’t access criminal records that help track aliases.
- Doesn’t go back as many years as the law allows.
The Times reports the following from the lawsuit:
One driver was convicted of second-degree murder in Los Angeles in 1982, and spent 26 years in prison before being paroled in 2008. He applied to be an Uber driver under a different name from those in his court records.
Other drivers’ convictions included felony sexual exploitation of children, felony kidnapping for ransom with a firearm, robbery, assault with a firearm, identity theft and driving under the influence, according to the Times report.
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