Uber Eats driver wins payout in facial recognition bias case

26/03/2024 | Independent

Uber Eats driver Pa Edrissa Manjang has received a payout to settle his legal claim against the company over allegations that its AI-powered facial recognition checks were racially discriminatory. Mr Manjang, who is black, was removed from the platform in 2021 due to “continued mismatches” in the photos he submitted to the facial recognition system required for drivers to access the app. He claimed that he experienced continuous difficulties with the verification process and was regularly asked to resubmit selfie images of himself to the platform as it did not recognise him despite no change to his appearance.

With support from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU), Mr Manjang launched a legal claim against the company, highlighting concerns about the use of AI and automation in the case, particularly how it could be used to permanently suspend a driver’s access to the app, and therefore, work. The EHRC chair, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, said that AI presents unique challenges for employers, lawyers and regulators, and it can lead to discrimination and human rights abuses as its usage increases.

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