Uber Eats driver awarded payout in discrimination case

AI Discrimination: The Unsavory Side of Gig Economy Jobs: A Story of Pa Edrissa Manjang and the Dangers of Facial Recognition Checks

In November 2019, Pa Edrissa Manjang joined Uber Eats and did not have to regularly send selfies to register for jobs. However, in 2021, the app started increasing verification checks which led to his account being removed due to “continued mismatches.” The real-time ID check was meant to ensure safety for all app users, but Mr. Manjang and others saw it as racial harassment.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the App Drivers and Couriers Union supported Mr. Manjang’s case, expressing concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence on his income. The excessive selfie requests were deemed discriminatory and harmful to low-paid gig economy workers like Mr. Manjang.

Mr. Manjang was reinstated after an out-of-court settlement, marking the end of a challenging period for him. He viewed this as an opportunity to shed light on the potential issues associated with AI, particularly for ethnic minorities in the gig economy. He hoped that his case would contribute to strengthening rights and protections for ethnic minorities in relation to AI.

Baroness Falkner, chair of the EHRC, emphasized Mr. Manjang’s right to understand the opaque processes that affected his work without having to resort to legal action. She highlighted previous cases where ethnicity impacted technology use, including in law enforcement, government offices, and educational institutions. These instances underscored the need for greater transparency and accountability in the application of AI technologies.

In conclusion, Uber Eats driver Pa Edrissa Manjang received a payout after facing racially discriminatory facial-recognition checks that prevented him from accessing the app for work. The case highlights potential issues associated with AI technology’s implementation in gig economy jobs and raises concerns about its impact on ethnic minorities’ rights and protections.

Uber stated that their real-time ID check was aimed at ensuring safety for all app users; however, it resulted in discrimination against low-paid gig workers like Mr. Manjang who were subjected to excessive selfie requests.

The EHRC supported Mr. Manjang’s case while raising concerns about AI’s impact on his income through racial harassment.

With an out-of-court settlement reached between Uber Eats and Mr. Manjang, he viewed this as an opportunity to shed light on potential issues associated with AI technology’s implementation in gig economy jobs.

Baroness Falkner emphasized that individuals have a right to understand opaque processes that affect their work without resorting to legal action.

Overall, this incident highlights the need for greater transparency and accountability in AI technology’s implementation in gig economy jobs while raising concerns about its potential impact on ethical minorities’ rights and protections.

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