Uber’s background checks missed criminals, say US prosecutors

That process, she said, uncovered convictions for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, rape, attempted murder, child abuse and violence.

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Whether ride-hail drivers should be held to the same background-check standards as taxi drivers has been the subject of hours of testimony at Los Angeles City Hall, as lawmakers prepare to vote on a permit process that would allow Uber and its main competitor, Lyft, to pick up passengers at LAX.

Despite Uber’s safety claims, the company does not perform fingerprint-based background checks for its drivers, the amended complaint states, which are less comprehensive and provide less security than fingerprint checks done on taxi drivers in California. The driver gave 1,168 rides over seven months, according to the prosecutors’ court filing.

“Uber’s business model depends upon convincing its customers it is safe to get into a stranger’s vehicle despite its admission in its terms and conditions through at least April 7, 2015, that its customers ‘may be exposed to situations involving third party providers that are potentially unsafe, offensive, harmful to minors, or otherwise objectionable,”‘ the complaint says.

Another background check failed to identify a felon convicted in 1999 of committing lewd or lascivious acts against a child under 14 or that he is a registered sex offender. But with that rapid growth has come criticism about how the company handles safety. Uber operates an on-demand vehicle service used all over the world. A couple of weeks later, a driver allegedly sexually assaulted and choked a young woman in Boston.

Uber Technologies Inc is known as Everyone’s Private Driver. The lawsuit doesn’t object to Uber’s background checks, but it objects to the company’s claim that it uses an industry-leading process to vet its drivers. “The reality is that neither is 100 percent foolproof – as we discovered last year when putting hundreds of people through our checks who identified themselves as taxi drivers”.

The suit asks for a permanent injunction against Uber requiring the company to make changes to stop violating California law.

Uber drivers include ex-kidnappers, sex-offenders, and even a murderer, according to evidence gathered by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. The three companies were given until October to respond.

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Gascon and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey filed the original lawsuit in December.

Ex-Kidnappers, Sex Offenders, Murderer Among Uber Drivers Picking Up