Uber will require its drivers to snap periodic selfies to ensure they are who they claim to be.
Uber is teaming up with Microsoft Cognitive Services in the initiative, which it says protects both riders and workers by prompting drivers to share a photo before going online, and then at undefined intervals afterward. The company has come under fire for its driver screening standards, with some major cities taking issue with the fact that it doesn’t use fingerprint scanning for its background checks.
The feature was already being piloted in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Atlanta, but has been now expanded nationwide.
Uber says the process takes seconds. During its pilot, more than 99 percent of drivers were verified, it said. Glitches were mostly due to unclear profile photos.
“Given that verification takes only a few seconds to complete, this feature proactively and efficiently builds more security into the app,” the company said in its announcement.
How it works:
- Drivers are asked periodically to take a selfie in the Uber app before they accept rides.
- Uber then uses Microsoft’s Cognitive Services to instantly compare this photo to the one corresponding with the account on file.
- If the two photos don’t match, the account is temporarily blocked while Uber looks into the situation.