Lyft background check fails to flag man convicted of aiding terrorism 

Occurred: October 2017

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A man with a federal conviction for aiding terrorism was discovered to be driving for Lyft, prompting Chicago city officials to demand the company it used to perform automated background checks was replaced.

Raja L. Khan was not detected by background check company Sterling, despite having been released from prison after serving seven years for attempting to send money to Al Qaeda, resulting in a federal terrorism charge. People convicted of terrorist-related charges were supposed to be banned for driving for cabs and ridesharing services in Chicago.

Chicago officials demanded Sterling was replaced and that its existing drivers were double-checked. Lyft was one of three rideshare companies that settled with the City of Chicago for not performing background checks consistent with standards set by the City’s rideshare ordinance for a total USD 10.4 million.


Operator: Lyft
Developer: Sterling Talent Solutions
Country: USA
Sector: Business/professional services; Transport/logistics
Purpose: Conduct background checks
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Safety