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District attorneys accuse Uber of letting sex offenders, burglars, and a murderer drive

August 20, 2015, 12:01 AM UTC
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick speaks onstage at TechCrunch Discrupt at Pier 48 on September 8, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)
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Ride sharing app Uber conducts such poor background checks on its drivers that people convicted of sex crimes, burglary, kidnapping, and even murder have been approved to pick up passengers, according to San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.

At a news conference Wednesday, Gascón complained about “systemic failures in Uber’s background checks” that let drivers with criminal histories work in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Both Gascón and Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey explained the allegations at the news conference after amending a complaint in a civil suit they brought against Uber in December. The civil suit alleged that Uber has been misleading customers about how thoroughly it vets drivers.

Uber responded in a statement by saying that no background check system is perfect. It then singled out the Livescan background checking system used by taxi companies as being just as prone to errors.

“The reality is that neither is 100 percent foolproof — as we discovered last year when putting hundreds of people through our checks who identified themselves as taxi drivers,” an Uber representative wrote to the New York Times. “That process uncovered convictions for D.U.I., rape, attempted murder, child abuse and violence.”

The district attorneys’ allegations come just after Uber this week reportedly raised another $100 million and is going on a security-staff hiring binge.

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