Broward’s Latest Attempt to Hinder Uber






The Broward County Commission says requiring Uber drivers to be fingerprinted would ensure “the safety, security and welfare” of residents and visitors.

But the proposal is really an unnecessary duplication that could deter folks from becoming Uber drivers.

Fingerprinting drivers is another clue that commissioners care more about protecting the taxi and limousine industry, which gives them thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, than nurturing a new way to get cars off the road.  It is the latest bureaucratic overkill designed to hamper Uber.

The fingerprinting idea is on Tuesday’s commission agenda.


No Added Safety


This might be a surprise to readers, but fingerprinting the drivers would do little to protect riders from criminal drivers more than what is already being done. It is a feel-good scheme which would give more work to county employees and provide no added security to Uber riders.

Uber already has tougher, more comprehensive screening in place, according to Derek Seibert, global lead for safety compliance for the firm.

Seibert, who is also an attorney, is in charge of insuring the safety of passengers in hundreds of communities where Uber operates around the world. He says that the company has developed background checks that dig much deeper than just fingerprinting.

There is a simple reason for Uber’s exhaustive background checks: Liability. The company faces tens of millions of dollars in law suits if they hire drivers who do something wrong.

Broward’s fingerprints would check the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement database.

Many misdemeanors – such as assault or driving under the influence – are not in the nationwide criminal database. Databases can be flawed.

“In the past, I was open to fingerprinting. (But) fingerprinting provides just arrest records,” Seibert says. “We look at court records.”

Drivers provide Uber images of their Social Security information, drivers license, registration, insurance documents and new pictures of themselves.

Everything is cross-referenced with databases – the drivers license information, national sex crime registry, multi-state and multi-jurisdictional criminal records and a federal courts database.

Here is the big and expensive Uber difference:

Using vendors who do they same work for major Fortune 500 companies, any information found in databases is crosschecked against court records to see if it is accurate and complete.  Social Security numbers that Uber collects also are used to trace “courthouse documents in everyplace where (drivers) have lived throughout their lives,” Seibert says.

Roughly 56 percent of the court records are not electronic and Uber pays to send folks to hand check those courthouse records.

Uber has uncovered drivers with shady backgrounds not reflected in data bases obtained through fingerprints alone.  Court documents disclosed infractions, misdemeanors and serious charges that have been added after the initial arrest.  The fingerprint database doesn’t reflect these.

The company’s more comprehensive background check has enabled Uber to reject 1 in 16 drivers approved through fingerprinting alone in Boston and 1-10 in Seattle and Houston.

The company rechecks its drivers records every year, Seibert says.


Statewide Solution Needed


So why does Uber object to Broward’s fingerprinting proposal?

The company believes fingerprinting is redundant and it is a waste of money that drivers have to pay. Fingerprinting also deters some from applying to be a driver.

Most of all, Uber probably doesn’t want to deal with different regulations by every one of the 67 counties in Florida.

The Florida Legislature could be coming to the rescue. (I can’t believe those words were ever written by me, but in this case they are true.)

State Rep. Matt Gaetz of Shalimar, a ride-sharing fan and one of the young Republican powerhouses, has a bill sailing through the House that would regulate Uber on a statewide basis.

That makes sense to me in a state where a passenger might take Uber across county lines from, say, Miami International to Parkland or Boca Raton.

The safety regulations in Gaetz’s bill mirror Uber’s own tough background checks. It doesn’t contain fingerprinting.

In total disregard of Tallahassee, Broward commissioners are going ahead this week with their own inferior proposal.

Fingerprinting of Uber drivers is unnecessary and won’t accomplish anything except to grow Broward’s bureaucracy. Instead of trying to kill the future, which is surely Uber and other ride-sharing firms, commissioners should be helping them.

By working with Uber, commissioners could encourage more people to leave their cars at home. That’s a worthy goal.




9 Responses to “Broward’s Latest Attempt to Hinder Uber”

  1. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    This company is worth over 40 billion dollars. Instead of giving them a hard time they should be working w/ them. (Ps. Mayor Seiler- pertaining to the calls I have been getting and also concerning your mother(church)one is now in custody….and Big Tony is next. When they going to learn you can’t beat me…I am better than them…..)

  2. harold says:

    I take uber. Its great and the cars are in better condition than the smelly, not cabs they have at the airport. I will always recommend my friends take Uber when they visit and need a ride.

  3. One who knows says:

    This is no news since everybody knows the County Commission are whores. Stacy Ritter and Dale Holeness are the worst. They would sell their mothers for contributions or a free golf cart.

  4. Wayne Arnold says:

    Mr. Nevins, just more government regulations.

  5. Taxi says:

    It is a rip off to drive a cab. You rent a taxi from the company, also pay for dispatch and insurance. Then you wait in a lot at the airport for a fare and hope it isn’t going to Dania Beach or Port Everglades. Drivers are lucky to take home $200 a week, which is why Uber is popular with drivers.

  6. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    There we go again w/ that damn golf cart huh Stacey. I told her to drive that cart right into the county comm. chambers and leave it there. I mean talk about beating a dead horse here #3-“One who knows”. Per my previous post boy “Karma” has bitten some of you in the ass(call me w/ your threats, using Mayor Seiler ‘ mother(church) as some kind of pawn-when I don’t even know her-your next fatso’-wife shittin in her pants(message-Publix) you should be-knew Big, bad, fatso was behind it-no way meth-head would know they all go to same church. Never lie to you Major Marvel…)

  7. WELL SAID says:

    The horse is out of the barn….taxi cabs, except in large Cities such as Chicago and New York, will soon fade from the scene….Uber, or tech savy companies like it,are fast becoming the norm…it is unfortunate indeed that this County has a Commission made up of people who really do not understand, nor do they have the formal education required to understand how the tech world really works and evolves…..I mean really, Dale Holeness? Tracey Ritter? Not a chance….

  8. Chaz Stevens, I am Festivus says:


    Put down the flakka and step away from the crack dude.

    You are certifiably nuts.

  9. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Look at the fat heathen telling me off. You are another one that is a mess. I’ll tell you Chaaaaz if I was Sylvia Porter son you would get such a beating. I demise you. I demise what you stand for. You are a pig and a closet homosexual(be true to they self). Also your neighbors hate your guts….