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Uber Eats Faceback: Gig Worker’s Rights Amidst AI-Driven Verification Checks

Uber Eats driver awarded payout in discrimination case

Uber Eats Faceback: Gig Worker’s Rights Amidst AI-Driven Verification Checks

In November 2019, Pa Edrissa Manjang joined Uber Eats and initially did not have to regularly send selfies to register for jobs. However, in 2021, the app started increasing verification checks, leading to his account being removed due to “continued mismatches”. The real-time ID check was intended to ensure safety for all app users, but Mr Manjang and others saw it as a form of racial harassment.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission and the App Drivers and Couriers Union supported Mr Manjang’s case, expressing concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence on his income. Baroness Falkner, chair of the EHRC, emphasized Mr Manjang’s right to understand the opaque processes that affected his work without having to resort to legal action. She highlighted previous cases where ethnicity impacted technology use, including in law enforcement, government offices, and educational institutions. These instances underscore the need for greater transparency and accountability in the application of AI technologies.

Uber stated that decisions were made with oversight to avoid impacting someone’s livelihood unjustly. Mr Manjang viewed the out-of-court settlement as the end of a challenging period. His case shed light on the potential issues associated with AI, particularly for low-paid gig economy workers, and he hoped it would contribute to strengthening rights and protections for ethnic minorities in relation to AI.

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