Uber Cites Other Reasons For Denying App Access To Uber Driver After He Shaved His Head

We admire technology for the lack of one of the vices that humans can never get rid of—anomalies. However, as it seems nowadays, technology is not that perfect after all. And what happens when technology does not do it any better than us?  Srikanth, an uber-driver based in Hyderabad, experienced something similar when he faced […]

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April 3, 2021

Technology

4 min

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We admire technology for the lack of one of the vices that humans can never get rid of—anomalies. However, as it seems nowadays, technology is not that perfect after all. And what happens when technology does not do it any better than us? 

Srikanth, an uber-driver based in Hyderabad, experienced something similar when he faced a technical glitch in Uber’s face recognition feature.

What Was The Glitch? 

Srikanth, an ardent devotee of the deity at Tirumala Tirupati Devasthana, had shaved off his hair to offer it to the deity a few weeks back. Whatever it is that he wished, what followed next was something that he could not have imagined at all.

Srikanth’s Before and After pictures

When he tried to re-login into Uber’s internal portal for its drivers with his tonsured hair, he was denied access. He tried the process at least four more times, but he was still unable to re-register himself. 

He believes that it must have been because of his changed look that the Artificial intelligence of the app’s software failed to establish cognizance between his current face and the old data stored in the app. 

Has It Been Corrected?

On trying a few more times by clicking selfies from all sorts of angles, he found himself being banned by the facial recognition software for multiple unsuccessful login attempts. He has been facing this issue for over a month, and as a result, he is currently jobless. 

Srikanth has been working with Uber for more than two years now. And till date, he has completed 1428 trips and claims to hold a 4.67-star rating on the app. He says that he had immediately launched a complaint with Uber. He had also submitted all the required documents, including his ‘before and after’ photographs to corroborate his statements. 

In an interview with News18, he revealed that he had visited Uber’s regional office several times. But they have refused to reinstate him without citing any plausible justification. He is the sole breadwinner of the family. And now that he does not have a job for around a month, his family is struggling really hard to arrange for a two-square meal a day. 

What Does Uber Have To Say About It?

An Uber spokesperson, defending his company, has stated that the driver wasn’t denied access due to the changes in his physical appearance. When he had visited an Uber Partner Seva Kendra, Srikanth was informed that he had been removed as he had violated some community guidelines which ensure the safety and security of all those who are using this platform.

 He also claimed that Uber’s AI technology is perfectly capable of identifying a person even if there are slight changes in that person’s appearance. He further added that even if someone faces any technical issues while logging in, one can always access the option of appealing for a manual review of the profile in any of its nearest Uber Partner Seva Kendra.

Both sides of the story seem equally convincing. Therefore, no judgments should be made without further probe into the matter, and both sides should be heard out without any prior bias. 

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