The news follows Uber losing its London licence last year after a string of safety mishaps
Uber has been banned in Birmingham due to the taxi-hire firm’s recent dispute with its regulator – Transport for London (TfL).
Its Birmingham licence will not be renewed at the end of January.
It follows Uber having its London licence revoked last year after it was revealed that 14,000 drivers in the capital were not insured or unlicenced, therefore potentially compromising passenger safety.
Authentication platform Veridium’s chief executive, James Stickland has warned that gig economy businesses must rethink their identity verification strategies to ensure public safety as well as the legitimacy of their business model.
This ban could further impact the insurance industry, especially those that insure Uber drivers such as Zego, INSHUR and Axa Group.
Stickland said: “There is no excuse for companies such as Uber failing to determine the identity, and hence safety, of the workers on its platform. The UK gig economy has doubled in the past three years – now accounting for 4.7 million workers – and is only expected to expand as businesses rush to cash in.”
Stickland explained that as Uber extends its portfolio into food delivery with Uber Eats, and helicopter travel with Uber Air Taxi, verifying the identity of airborne passengers will also be crucial to protect a range of stakeholders including employees.
“This is particularly pertinent with the planned launch of urban electric planes, which are widely being regarded as the future of transportation to bypass road traffic. These measures could also mitigate against consumer payment fraud on both ride and food orders, he said.
“Furthermore, the public’s sensitive biometric data can be distributed in a way that ensures no private company such as Uber is the custodian, easing concerns over data privacy.”
Mitigating future scandal
Stickland said that verifying people are who they say they are will be vital to public safety, but also vital in the fight against growing e-commerce fraud and money laundering.
“There is an array of technology available to verify a worker’s identity and mitigate future scandals, including biometric authentication such as fingerprint or facial recognition, alongside liveness detection which senses movement,” he explained.
“Considering global e-commerce fraud is anticipated to cost $130bn (£100bn) by 2023, it is essential for businesses to act now or risk disappearing in the future.”
This can be done by “integrating innovative behavioural biometric authentication, which uses artificial intelligence to identify unique mannerisms such as gait, or patterns of behaviour such as the time of day an app is accessed, as well as location, is widely being regarded as the final frontier in security”.
“Considering the increase in app-based workers, leveraging biometrics through digital devices to verify digital identity would be an efficient, cost-effective method for businesses to ensure only authorised people are permitted to work,” Stickland concluded.
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