In the face of rising security concerns, Uber is now requiring its drivers in the US to take selfies as a precaution. The move is not confirmed to be replicated elsewhere but it won’t be a surprise if it is.
The drivers will be required to take a well-lit photograph of their faces at the start of their shift. They’ll be then required to take one at random throughout their shift to make sure they are who they claim to be.
The Real-time ID check is using Microsoft’s Cognitive Services platform, and will be able to verify whether the photos are consistent with one another.
The feature has already been debuted in China earlier this year where the drivers were revealed to have handed over their account details to third-parties. Subsequently a similar facial recognition software was implemented in the country through the help of a local entity, Face++.
This isn’t the first time Uber is taking a strong safety precaution in order to protect in users. Apart from triggering multiple protests from local entities in cities worldwide, Uber drivers have been involved in a bunch of shady, unlawful activities which is why the implementation of the feature isn’t at all a surprise.
Following a rape case in India, Uber released the SOS Button in India for users who feared their safety. The selfie method isn’t as serious but it feels like a much-needed step. This is also relevant here since there has been a rising spate of reports of Uber drivers harassing female passengers in Pakistan.