Uber has persistently resisted requests to fingerprint its drivers for more thorough background checks, and the company's CEO now explains why.

Fingerprint-based background checks have been a sore spot for companies such as Uber and Lyft. The companies refused to fingerprint their drivers and even preferred pulling out of areas where fingerprinting was mandatory.

Austin, Texas, for instance, requires drivers to provide fingerprint scans for background checks, and both Uber and Lyft decided to pull out of the city rather than agree to the practice. A non-profit car-hailing company called RideAustin promptly swooped in, complying with the fingerprint requirements.

Uber, for its part, continues to oppose fingerprinting its drivers, fueling what is one of the biggest controversies surrounding the company. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick now addresses the issue, explaining his company's stance toward fingerprinting.

Talking with President Obama's senior adviser Valerie Jarrett at the seventh annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Kalanick offers several reasons why his company is keen on hiring drivers without background checks based on fingerprint scans.

Not only are the checks slow and expensive, which would take a toll on the company's hiring process, but the CEO also reckons that Uber's stance against fingerprinting has much to do with the justice system.

According to Kalanick, bypassing the fingerprint requirements allows Uber to hire drivers who have been unfairly caught in the cogs of the U.S. criminal justice system. The company wants to give those people a chance at employment, so it prefers using other methods for background checks.

"We have systems in place where if you're arrested, you literally can't get work, even if you're found to be innocent," Kalanick explains. "And it's unjust."

The CEO further bashes industries such as taxis for relying on fingerprinting as a means to protect their own interests.

On the other hand, Uber's interests have also been questioned in relation to how it treats its workers. The company faced lawsuits over classifying its drivers as independent contractors rather than giving them employee status, which would offer them additional benefits. More specifically, classifying drivers as employees would grant them some legal protection and make them eligible for reimbursements for expenses.

Uber also faced lawsuits over its practices related to background checks. Back in April, for instance, the company agreed to pay at least $10 million to settle a lawsuit in California. That lawsuit accused Uber of misinforming its customers regarding the background checks it conducts on its drivers, misleading clients to think that drivers went through thorough criminal screening before getting the job. The lawsuit also centered on the company's refusal to fingerprint potential drivers.

Despite legal hurdles and great controversy, however, Kalanick's statements now confirm once again that Uber is still firmly opposed to fingerprint-based background checks and that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

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