Facial recognition checks and ethnicity: Uber Eats driver’s experience sheds light on potential issues with AI in the gig economy

Uber Eats driver awarded payout in discrimination case

In November 2019, Pa Edrissa Manjang joined Uber Eats and did not have to regularly send selfies to register for jobs. However, in 2021, the app started increasing verification checks that led to his account being removed due to “continued mismatches.” The real-time ID check was meant to ensure safety for all app users, but Mr. Manjang and others saw it as 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. They labelled the excessive selfie requests as racial harassment. Mr. Manjang, now reinstated and working in Oxfordshire, 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. He hoped it would contribute to strengthening rights and protections for ethnic minorities in relation to AI. 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 underscored the need for greater transparency and accountability in the application of AI technologies.

In conclusion, Uber Eats driver Pa Edrissa Manjang faced “racially discriminatory” facial-recognition checks that prevented him from accessing the app for work. The real-time ID check was meant to ensure safety for all app users but resulted in Mr. Manjang’s account being removed due to “continued mismatches.” The Equality and Human Rights Commission and the App Drivers and Couriers Union supported Mr. Manjang’s case and expressed concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence on his income.

Mr. Manjang’s case shed light on potential issues associated with AI for low-paid gig economy workers and underscored the need for greater transparency and accountability in its application.

Baroness Falkner emphasized Mr. Manjang’s right to understand opaque processes without resorting to legal action while highlighting previous cases where ethnicity impacted technology use.

In conclusion, Uber Eats driver Pa Edrissa Manjang received a payout after facing racially discriminatory facial recognition checks that prevented him from accessing the app for work

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