Uber Faces Legal Action Over ‘Racist’ Facial Recognition Software

The App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU), on behalf of an ex-Uber driver and a courier, has launched legal action against Uber on Tuesday over their racist facial recognition system.

ADCU filed the case after the unfair dismissal of a former Uber driver, Imran Javaid Raja, and a former Uber Eats courier, Pa Edrissa Manjang, after failing checks using the facial recognition technology.

ADCU alleged that Uber’s facial recognition system discriminates against people of color.

Uber refuted the allegations on their system as unfounded claims and said that the checks were “designed to protect the safety and security of everyone who uses the app by ensuring the correct driver is using their account”.

Uber introduced a facial recognition system that made use of Microsoft’s FACE API in March 2020. The system required workers to provide a real-time selfie or face dismissal if the system fails to match the selfie with a stored reference photo.

ADCU’s President Yaseen Aslam said that “Uber made a big claim that it was an anti-racist company and challenged all who tolerate racism to delete the app. But rather than root out racism Uber has bedded it into its systems and workers face discrimination daily as a result.”

ADCU has filed the case at the Central London Employment Tribunal on behalf of Manjang and Raja and has launched a CrowdJustice campaign to help fund the case.

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