“A trans person can’t be expected to update their licence every three months or so just to avoid being deactivated.”
Trans drivers with Uber, the most successful taxi alternative in the world, face difficulties with the company’s identification policies, which are seeing some of them kicked off the app.
Transgender drivers are finding their accounts either temporarily or permanently suspended due to the Real-Time ID Check security feature, which requires them to take selfies at random times on the job to verify their identity. If the photo doesn’t come back as a match to other photos on file, it will get flagged.
According to CNBC, Janey Webb began transitioning her gender around the time she started working for Uber in October 2017. She uploaded new photos to the Uber system to document her physical changes throughout her transition, so that passengers would know who to look for and that Uber would have documentary proof of her appearance in case there was ever an issue. At the beginning of July this year, her account was deactivated.
“I was all ready to [drive for] Uber. I drove downtown, and the only reason I knew I was deactivated was because I couldn’t get back online,” she told CNBC.
Webb was told her the account had been deactivated because one of her photos did not match her driver’s licence on file. When she went to an Uber office in person to explain her gender transition, she was told the deactivation was a mistake. However, the company did not assure her that the same thing couldn’t happen again if she uploads a new photo.
“A trans person can’t be expected to update their licence every three months or so just to avoid being deactivated,” Webb said.
Webb isn’t the only trans person to deal with photo verification issues.
In another case, a trans Uber driver from Michigan was also suspended from the app for photo inconsistencies. She estimated that she was prompted to pull over and verify her identity roughly 100 times in the past year and a half.
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