Monday, May 9, 2016

Uber drivers in Austin have to undergo fingerprint verification

A law in Austin, Texas, regulating the way Uber and Lyft cab services are run mandates, inter alia, that drivers have to take a fingerprint-based background verification, and wear 'trade dress'. It was put in place by the City Council in December 2015.

But there has been strong opposition to this strict security measure, from various quarters.

Proposition 1 -- to take down the law -- was put to vote and the results have come in. The people have voted to keep the fingerprint verification.

In response to it, Uber and Lyft have now suspended their services in Austin. Their argument is that their own screening is good enough, and a screening by a governmental agency will only make it harder for part-time drivers to operate.

Though this is a very local development in Austin, it's interesting, especially in India, where Uber services are very popular, though not always without controversies.

Drivers running cabs for Uber have got into many criminal cases, in not only in Bengaluru, Delhi and some other cities of India, but also in many places in the US, Europe and Southeast Asia. Though personally, I have never had an issue with a Uber driver, I have heard of people, especially women, having problems.

Secondly, Uber and Lyft had jointly spent $8 million in campaign advertisements urging people to support the proposition (against the law). On the contrary, a group that is opposed to the proposition spent just $100,000.

The results show that the people value their security much more than anything. Expensive advertisements may not really help. When it comes to issues that affect people directly they take independent decisions.


In Forbes, Daily News, TechCrunch

1 comment:

  1. Good. In India too there should be such strong rule. The cabs don't belong to Uber, Ola, and we don't know who is the driver. Only after app based cabs came there are more such security issues mainly involving women. So sth should be done.