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Uber deactivated some transgender drivers’ accounts for submitting ‘fraudulent’ profile photos taken after they transitioned, a report says

December 13, 2021

Uber deactivated the accounts of some transgender drivers after they updated their profile photos, per the LA Times.Some of the drivers said Uber had deemed their post-transition photos as fraudulent, per The Times.Uber said it had “misrouted” some of the update requests, resulting in a “regrettable customer experience.”

Uber has deactivated some transgender drivers’ accounts over what it deemed to be fraudulent profile photos taken after their transitions, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The ride-hailing app company mistakenly classed some transgender and nonbinary drivers’ ID documents as fraudulent, according to five drivers who spoke to The Times and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) records reviewed by the publication. Some drivers told The Times they weren’t able to recover their driver accounts through Uber’s appeals process.

Uber didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Zahid Arab, an Uber spokesperson, told The Times that Uber was working to reactivate the drivers’ accounts. “On occasion, requests can be misrouted and result in a regrettable customer experience which we are working to address,” Arab said, adding that Uber was working to ensure that its “background check process runs as expected for transgender and nonbinary users.”

Monty Robinson, a former Uber driver, told The Times she’d worked for Uber for more than a year before she transitioned. She said she submitted a form through Uber’s help page entitled “I am transgender and need account help” but Uber nonetheless deactivated her account, saying she’d uploaded a fraudulent photo.

Adrian Escobedo, a transgender man, told The Times he’d submitted to Uber a profile picture taken after he transitioned and a driver’s license with a photo taken from before. He said his Uber Eats driver account was suspended, and weeks later, he was informed he’d submitted fraudulent documents, and had been banned from the platform.

According to The Times, the ACLU of Southern California then wrote to Uber asking the company to reactivate Escobedo’s account, and according to Escobedo, it was reactivated the next day.

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