UBER Sued After Several Employees Were Fired Through ‘Robo-Firing’ Algorithm

Uber continues to violate the fundamental rights of its employees. In 2019 four drivers from the United Kingdom, accused the taxi company for not providing them with the data requested, although GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation) offers individuals the right to access personal data held by companies, which are obliged to respond to this requests within a month. This time several employees accused Uber of using ‘robo-firing’ algorithm to dismiss them.

Article 22 from GDPR states that ”the data subject shall have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, which produces legal effects concerning him or her or similarly significantly affects him or her.”

ACDU (The App Drivers & Couriers Union) filed the complaint in court in Amsterdam, as Uber is based in the Netherlands.

ACDU is representing the four drivers, two from London, one from Birmingham and one from Lisbon, Portugal who were dismissed through the company’s application.

Two of the drivers were fired detected by Uber’s systems with ‘’irregular trips associated with fraudulent activities.’’ The one in Birmingham was dismissed without the right to appeal followed by the last one accused by Uber as having installed software with the intention of ‘’manipulating the Driver App’’.

James Farrar, Director of Worker Info Exchange said:

”Uber has industrialised the process for the firing of drivers at scale in a frighteningly uniform way across the UK and Europe. It is morally offensive that workers can be dismissed in such a callously automated way without any right of appeal or to even know the basis of the algorithmically generated allegations made against them.”

Uber told the BBC that dismissal of the employees is done following a ‘’manual review by humans’’, however the Privacy Lawyer Anton Ekker claimed that if these were automated decision-making according to GDPR, they are obliged to ‘’give drivers the possibility to object to an automated decision, which they clearly did not.’’

Unfortunately this is not the only case of this kind, and ADCU encourages drivers throughout the European Economic Area who are going through similar situations to make their case known and register on their website.


Need more information of how GDPR is applied? Check Sovy’s Knowledge portal to find out more.


Source:  https://www.adcu.org.uk/news-posts/app-drivers-couriers-union-files-ground-breaking-legal-challenge-against-ubers-dismissal-of-drivers-by-algorithm-in-the-uk-and-portugal