Uber plans tighter screening for drivers

Washington - Online taxi service Uber Technologies, which had a driver was accused of rape in New Delhi, said it was exploring adding new methods to verify drivers' credentials and make its service safer.

Uber has started research and development on biometrics and voice verification to build tools for enhanced driver screening, Phillip Cardenas, the company's global safety, head wrote in a blog.

The start-up was also exploring new ways to screen drivers, including polygraph tests and adding its own processes on top of commercial license verifications.

"Of course, no background check can predict future behaviour and no technology can yet fully prevent bad actions," Cardenas said. "But our responsibility is to leverage every smart tool at our disposal."

In the US, Uber's background-verification process includes checks of court records going back seven years; a multi-state criminal database; and the National Sex Offender Registry, according to Uber policy posted on its website. Activities that disqualify potential drivers include sexual offenses, violent crimes and gun-related infractions.

Aggressive approach

But that is not the case internationally, where records are not always kept for the same categories of data as in the US, or treated with rigor.

"In some countries the integrity of the data can be compromised as individuals may be able to pay monetary fees to have their records adjusted," said a spokesperson from the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.

The San Francisco-based firm also said it was building safety incident response teams to provide round-the-clock support.

Uber has been dogged by controversy surrounding its aggressive approach to local governments and traditional taxi services.

The company's business practices have come under scrutiny, with some customers alleging privacy violations, as it has grown rapidly around the world in recent months.

France, Spain and Thailand have banned some or all Uber services. The company's services have also been banned in New Delhi following the rape allegation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
16.87
-1.3%
Rand - Pound
20.13
-0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.02
-0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.67
-1.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.6%
Gold
1,759.58
-0.1%
Silver
19.57
-1.2%
Palladium
2,160.71
+0.8%
Platinum
915.51
-1.5%
Brent Crude
93.65
+1.4%
Top 40
64,184
+0.0%
All Share
71,011
+0.1%
Resource 10
63,890
+1.0%
Industrial 25
86,864
-0.7%
Financial 15
16,201
+0.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders