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Uber is being sued by drivers claiming to have been sacked by its algorithm

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A group of Uber drivers have filed a legal case in Amsterdam claiming that the platform’s algorithm unfairly dismissed them from the service without appeal.

Dutch news outlet NOS reports that four Uber drivers, three British and one Portuguese, filed the case at a district court yesterday. The drivers say automated firing is not allowed and according to European law, there must be human intervention before such an important decision is made.

Uber is contesting the claims, and told the BBC that humans had intervened before the drivers’ accounts were deactivated.

“As part of our regular processes, the drivers in this case were only deactivated after manual reviews by our specialist team,” the spokeswoman told the BBC.

While the case affects all Uber drivers, it’s being logged in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, as that’s where the ride-sharing company maintains its data.

[Read: What audience intelligence data tells us about the 2020 US presidential election]

The drivers are being represented by Dutch legal firm Ekker, led by attorney Anton Ekker. Ekker says the case will “test the extent that Article 22 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can protect individuals from unfair automated decision-making.”

Under Article 22, individuals are protected from automated decisions with no human intervention, which can lead to negative outcomes, such as someone losing their job. In short, drivers have a right to the data gathered about them that contributed to the decision being made.

According to the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) there have been more than 1,000 individual cases since 2018 where drivers have been dismissed from the app without appeal.

Now that Uber has been granted its London operating license, this case becomes even more pertinent in the UK capital. Any time a private hire vehicle operator, like Uber, fires a driver, they must report that individual to Transport for London so there is a record of the reasons for dismissal.

It also allows drivers to contest their dismissal to keep their personal license. However, it seems Uber doesn’t always provide a clear explanation.

One driver told the BBC that he had a 4.94 rating, but was unable to log into the app one morning. After calling customer support he was told his account had been deactivated for “fraudulent activities.” Despite more calls and emails over a six-month period, that driver was never given more explanation as to what his “fraudulent activities” had actually been.

According to the quartet’s legal representation, Uber has never given drivers access to any evidence or data held against them, nor did it allow them to challenge their termination.

The fact that this is the first time Uber drivers have come together to challenge their dismissals on the grounds of GDPR law makes this a bit of a landmark case. If the drivers can have their terminations successfully overturned, it could pave ground for other drivers in similar situations to build a class action lawsuit against the ride-sharing company.

Earlier this year, another group of Uber drivers logged a case against the company seeking more transparency over how the platform’s algorithm distributes ride requests. They claimed that Uber operates like an employer, however, key management decisions, such as work delegation, are left to automated algorithms.

An unofficial translation of the court filing can be read here.


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Published October 27, 2020 — 09:27 UTC

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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