I have a friend who has always hated driving, so when Uber came to her area, it was a godsend. Anyone familiar with the ridesharing program knows that it’s seen its fair share of controversy recently, but that hasn’t impeded its success. One of the biggest concerns that comes to mind when talking about companies like Uber, which base their service on apps, is trust. After all, when you take a ride from someone there’s a certain amount of risk involved. But as companies like these are developed around technology, they tend to turn to that technology when they want to improve security as well.

It’s no secret that technology is outpacing security. With every advance, we see additional risk. Consider the Internet of Things, which allows us to stay connected and manage our lives. At the same time, that technology can be used for illegal means, like organizing DDoS attacks against servers or stealing personal information. It stands to reason that the best way to keep up with the advances in technology is to use security technology that’s equally as smart.

What They Offer Versus What They’re Responsible For

Uber is one of the largest transportation options out there, which is ironic as the company doesn’t have a fleet of vehicles. Instead, the value of its business is all in its ingenious app. Using rideshare provisions, the app allows people to connect with drivers and pay them a fee. This fee is usually less expensive than traditional taxi services and more time efficient as well. In the case of a friend who hated driving, she decided to take the plunge with Uber when her local cab company told her it would take at least an hour to get someone to her. Uber had a car there in ten minutes.

That’s the kind of efficiency consumers are coming to expect. However, this efficiency has its critics, who claim that that speed is accomplished at the sacrifice of safety. Those critics would make it seem like Uber does no vetting at all, but the company does have a large list of requirements for potential drivers, including:

  • 21 years of age – Many states have graduated driver’s license requirements, which phase out at 21. As such, you must be at least 21 to be an Uber driver.
  • A minimum of one year of driving experience – That experience applies to those over the age of 23. Applicants under 23 must have three years of driving history.
  • A motor vehicle report that shows a clean driving history – That history must have no more than 3 traffic related incidents in the past three years.
  • No higher-level speeding violations – If you’ve had a speeding violation that involves you going 20 MPH or more over the speed limit in the last three years, Uber will disqualify you as a driver.
  • No DUIs or Reckless Driving Offenses – In most states, any DUI or history of reckless driving will keep you off of Uber’s rosters. In California, your record must be DUI-free for three years
  • No history of crimes against people – A background check that shows any kind of assault, theft, or drug possession in the last seven years will likely get you disqualified.

To be entirely fair, these background checks are pretty thorough and are designed to protect consumers. The issue with vetting isn’t with Uber itself. Instead, it’s with the agencies these companies use to complete these checks. For taxi licenses, the individual has to submit fingerprints. Uber, being an app-based program, doesn’t have the time or the resources to manage something like that. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to provide their services at such a competitive price point.

In addition, Uber isn’t going to be able to locate criminal records of individuals if those records don’t exist. After all, someone may drive drunk on a regular basis but if they’ve never been caught, they’d still show up as a good prospect. This is where vetting and remote risk assessment technology help bridge the gap.

How Uber Can Leverage Tech for Safety

Remote Risk Assessment covers a range of technologies, but generally, it’s a process that allows the user to vet the risk of a given candidate or contact through the use of proprietary signals analysis processes. There are certain unconscious actions our voices and bodies take when we’re under stress due to dishonesty. RRA uses a simple interview process to ferret that out. This is a process that could easily work with companies like Uber, which provide a valuable service, while also controlling the high cost of background checks that would essentially eliminate the company’s profit margin. Here’s how it could work:

  1. Potential drivers would complete the application. On completion, they would be forwarded to the RRA interview process.
  2. They would watch a short video, explaining what RRA is and how it’s used to detect dishonesty. Often, this warning is enough to weed out those who know they’re being dishonest.
  3. They would then be forwarded to an RRA call center, where they would take an interview to answer questions like:
    • Have you ever driven under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
    • Do you have any history of violent crime or crimes against persons?
    • Is all the information on your application true and correct to the best of your knowledge?
    • Have you concealed anything in your history that you believe would disqualify you from using this service?
  4. Those who showed risk in those answers would then be referred for further investigation.

New economic sharing programs out there are a valuable part of our economy. They allow people to get the services they need, while minimizing the costs. Uber’s success in this sector shows a clear demand for this technology. At the same time, critics of these programs demand better security. RRA can be a tool to bridge the gap.

AC Global offers RRA as a mass vetting tool for a triaging process in instances just like these. It allows companies to get a more thorough look at the people they work with, while keeping costs low so they can pass the savings onto consumers. For more information, contact us.

Image Source | Unsplash user Michelle Wiles