A former Uber driver is taking legal action against the firm over its automated face-scanning software that he is claiming to be discriminating.
Indeed, the black driver who worked with Uber from 2016 to April 2021 has filed an employment tribunal claim alleging his account was illegally deactivated after the facial verification software didn’t recognize him several times. It was found out that at least 35 other drivers experienced the same thing.
The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has then decided to back the action and is calling for Uber to remove its algorithm and reinstate the drivers who were terminated. It also said that the facial recognition software made by Microsoft was found to not work as well for people of colour and could fail to recognise them.
However, Uber denies the claims and stated that it was dedicated to fighting racism and being a champion for equality. It declared that the software was made to protect the safety and security of everyone who uses the app by ensuring the correct driver is using their account. Besides, drivers have the opportunity to choose human verification of their picture and have their picture reviewed by two human expert reviews.
Yet, many facial recognition software have shown an increase in error rates when it has to identify people with darker skins, with led hundreds of drivers and couriers to have lost their jobs without any due process or evidence of wrongdoing.