Carmel Demicis, writing for Re/code:
For anyone following the ride-hailing company’s controversies with security issues, this latest revelation about unsavory drivers will perhaps come as no surprise. Throughout Uber’s short history, there have been several instances of drivers with undetected arrest or conviction records, who then allegedly groped, raped or assaulted passengers.
One issue: Uber is not legally mandated to do the gold standard of background checks: Live-scan fingerprinting. That is required of taxi drivers in California, as well as workers in other sensitive positions, such as nurses, teachers and paramedics.
Uber may not be required to run the "Gold Standard" of background checks but hiring killers, burglars and pedaphiles as drivers is not acceptable. Uber should modify their practices to ensure customer safety and let the world know how they are doing this.
I've wanted to like Uber but story after story of unsavory business practices pushes me away. It is not enough for a company to be provide an innovative product and be a market leader. They must also operate with integrity.
Is this latest fail a result of a simple error or indicative of a company culture so focused on profit that things like customer safety are neglected?
Unfortunately I suspect the later and this is a strategic weakness for Uber.
Company culture is one of the most challenging things to understand, direct and nurture and done well it is a huge strategic advantage. Done poorly and you create opportunities for competition.