Uber’s Real-Time ID Check has given a new meaning to selfies, turns out that Facebook likes and Instagram double tapping are just but basic uses.
The taxi hailing company describes Real-Time ID Check as a security feature designed to prevent fraud and protect drivers’ accounts from being compromised.
Uber has definitely given the term “Selfie” a new meaning.
Uber drivers are now required to take selfies before signing on to the platform and accepting ride requests.
Uber Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan stated that the Real-Time ID Check will help ensure that the selfie of the driver using the app in real time matches the one in Uber’s database.
This security feature is also expected to confirm that the driver behind the wheel is actually the same one associated with the Uber account.
The company uses Microsoft’s Cognitive Services to compare the selfies submitted against the photo in the Uber database. This verification process only takes a few seconds
The security feature came as a surprise especially since the company has long resisted security measures such as fingerprinting to check drivers’ criminal records.
Well, it seems that Uber is revising a lot nowadays as this comes a few months after they revised the fare structure.
The Uber Driver Scams
Uber driver scams are not a new phenomenon.
In 2016, Uber faced a spooky problem in China.
Some Uber drivers had been using zombie-like profile pictures scaring customers into canceling their rides.
The drivers would then benefit from a small cancellation fee.
In some cases, it has been reported that some Uber drivers would let the passenger enter the cab, after which they would terminate the trip before the customer even sees the car.
The problem of fake driver scams has also been reported at airports.
The rides were allegedly scheduled without using the official Uber software but the Uber name used to market the service.
The Real-Time ID Check an acknowledgment of superficial background checks?
Uber has definitely adopted the best 21st-century identification method-selfies.
Until the introduction of this security feature, there was no way for Uber to verify whether drivers were switching cars, a practice that is considered a security risk.
Ugly controversies have rocked Uber for some time and that is why some people are questioning Uber’s past commitment to passenger safety.
Critics have stated that the new Uber driver security feature is an explicit acknowledgment by Uber that some of its driver partners have never undergone background checks.
Uber drivers have been exposed for misconduct in the past. A good example is with an incident that happened at the JKIA. A Facebook user posted about an incident alleging that an Uber driver had attempted to steal her laptop
In India, an Uber driver was arrested for indecent behavior in the presence of a passenger. The female passenger alleged that the driver was masturbating each time the taxi stopped at a signal.
Another female passenger alleged that she had been raped by an Uber driver in Delhi.
To be fair, some Uber drivers have not had it easy as well. Some passengers have issued threats, those who give wrong addresses, the drunken, and those who give poor ratings for no reason at all.
So, the next time you see an Uber driver taking a selfie, do not stare hard. Just know it is for your own good.