Massachusetts senate rejects fingerprint requirement for Uber
04 July 2016 14:21 GMT

Massachusetts’s senate has voted against requiring fingerprint background checks drivers for drivers in ride-sharing firms such as Uber.

The senate rejected an amendment by 24-14 that would require all drivers to be fingerprinted and require that the mandatory background check include checking fingerprints with a national database.

Amendment supporters said fingerprinting is one of the best ways to weed out potential drivers who have a criminal record. They noted that fingerprints are already required for teachers and many others in Massachusetts.

Amendment opponents said this requirement is another example of overreach by the government and noted that the bill already gives companies the option to do a fingerprint test. They argued that mandated background checks are far more useful than the fingerprinting system.

The decision comes amid pitched battles around the US between lobbyists, lawmakers and the companies involved over fingerprint checks for mobile-app ride-hailing companies like Uber Technologies and Lyft.

Last week, the CEO of disruptive ride-sharing firm Uber said it is “unjust” to ask his driver to undergo fingerprint checks, amid a furore over Uber’s decision to leave Austin after its citizens demanded biometric background checks.  

Earlier this month, the International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) advised ridesharing firms to implement fingerprint-based background checks, saying that the process is much more secure than simple biographical checks.

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