Uber shouldn’t be forced to improve safety using facial recognition says human rights org

A leading human rights organisation has criticised the proposed move to use facial recognition technology on Uber drivers.

The ride-hailing firm said it would enforce the use of facial recognition scans against its drivers in a bid to ease safety concerns from London’s transport regulators.

Transport for London (TfL) rejected a new operator's licence after it emerged at least 14,000 journeys were made by drivers using fake identities.

Liberty, a human rights organisation, has been campaigning against the spread of facial recognition technology, which they claim is an ‘oppressive mass surveillance tool’ that uses a person’s unique biometric data to identify and potentially track them – often without their knowledge or consent.

Liberty has been representing Cardiff resident Ed Bridges in his legal challenge to South Wales Police’s use of facial recognition. On 13 November, the Court of Appeal granted Bridges permission to appeal a previous decision, meaning the case will proceed next year.

Separately, over 12,000 people have signed Liberty’s petition calling for a ban on the use of this mass surveillance technology in Britain’s public spaces.

Martha Spurrier, Liberty Director, said: “This announcement from Uber is extremely concerning because no employee should have to hand over such sensitive data to their employer. If you’re a low-paid worker you may feel you have no alternative but to comply with an unjustified infringement of your rights. It’s chilling to see such oppressive mass surveillance technology being normalised in this way by private companies.

“The safety of Uber’s customers should not come at the expense of their workforce’s human rights.”

Image credit: Pixabay

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