Uber faces lawsuit over its ‘racially biased’ facial recognition checks

Uber faces lawsuit over its ‘racially biased’ facial recognition checks

Uber, the US-based ride-hailing giant, is reportedly facing a lawsuit over its utilization of real-time facial recognition technology in a courier and driver identity verification system in the United Kingdom.

According to credible reports, The App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU) filed the lawsuit earlier this week, alleging that Uber's biometric identification checks discriminate against individuals of color.

The union stated that it is pursuing the action in response to the unjust firing of Pa Edrissa Manjang, a former Uber Eats courier, and Imran Javaid Raja, a former Uber driver, due to failed facial recognition technology checks.

President of ADCU, Yaseen Aslam, stated that last year the ride-hailing firm had made a big claim that the company was an anti-racist firm and challenged anyone who accepts racism to remove the app. However, rather than eliminating racism, Uber has embedded it in its processes, and employees suffer prejudice on a regular basis as a result.

The ADCU is initiating a crowdjustice campaign to effectively help fund the ongoing legal case, which it says is also backed by the Equality & Human Rights Commission and the non-profit Worker Info Exchange (WIE).

The latter was reportedly set up by James Farrer, a former Uber driver, who is now a director of the WIE and the general secretary of ADCU. The Farrer name ought to be familiar because he successfully took Uber to the court over its employment categorization of UK drivers, pressuring the company to make a U-turn earlier this year when it ultimately unveiled it would recognize drivers as workers after many years of trying to reverse successive employment classifications.

Farrer's next move might be to push the problem of algorithmic responsibility in the so-called "gig economy" into the legal realm.

The action appears to be opportune as the UK government is looking to make changes to the legal framework surrounding data protection, which may include eliminating existing safeguards that apply to some types of AI-driven judgments.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.