Atlanta Airport Seeks Biometric Background Checks for Uber Drivers

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, more commonly known as the Atlanta airport, is seeking to impose mandatory fingerprint-based background checks on unlicensed taxi services such as Uber and Lyft. The airport submitted the plan to Atlanta’s city council for consideration this week.

Atlanta Airport Seeks Biometric Background Checks for Uber Drivers

Predictably, Uber and Lyft have come out with public objections against the proposal, arguing that it could hurt their business operations in the city. Uber reportedly has deals with over 50 airports across the US, none of which require fingerprint-based background checks. But recently US cities have sought to impose this kind of biometric screening, and while Uber and its allies have fought such measures, in places like Houston and New York City, the legislation has prevailed.

According to a city report, since Houston’s regulations took effect, the city’s fingerprint-based background checks, conducted with the FBI, have discovered criminal histories including murder and sexual assault among driver applicants – information that the private taxi services’ own commercial background checks have failed to detect. And given that the FBI is uniquely situated to provide such comprehensive biometric background checks, it’s going to be difficult for Uber and related services to argue against such checks, at least when it comes to the matter of public safety.

Source: CBS News

March 28, 2016 – by Alex Perala