There has been massive attention over the last couple of years to the risk that poor background checking of sharing economy service providers introduces. Indeed, one of the major points that traditional taxi companies have made to support their opposition of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft has been that these services introduce massive risk to end users. Taxi company employees go through security and character checks to ensure they are suitable for the job, this isn’t really the case for ride-sharing providers.
The issue for Uber and Lyft isn’t so much that they don’t want to do these checks (and you can swap Uber and Lyft for all manner of different sharing economy services here), it’s that traditional models of background checking don’t really work in the sharing economy. The costs involved in a background check are problematic when the provider might only be doing a small amount of work, and sharing economy companies often never physically see their providers, so traditional face to face approaches towards background checking don’t really work.