Uber’s new safety feature now require drivers to take selfies

Uber RealTime ID

We imagine that, in order to qualify as an Uber driver, you at least need to be able to drive (duh), hold a valid driver’s license, and have the desire to provide quality service for riders. Heck, you don’t even need to own a car. But did you know that, starting last month, the ridesharing app now requires all its drivers to know how to take selfies.

Yes, selfies and with good reason.

Uber now has a new feature in the Philippines called Real-Time ID Check. It requires drivers to periodically snap selfies in the app before they start accepting rides. This is then digitally compared (using Microsoft Cognitive Services) with the photo Uber has on file. So if the 2 photos don’t match, the account is temporarily blocked and Uber launches an investigation.

Uber RealTime ID

What it does is it reduces fraud. It prevents multiple phony drivers from sharing one account and/or protect an honest driver’s account from being compromised.

For riders, Real-Time ID Check ensures that the driver of the UberX, UberPool, or UberBlack they booked is the duly-authorized person to drive that Uber, thus adding an extra layer of protection.

“We at Uber are constantly looking for ways to strengthen our technology-enabled security features. We look into new solutions and test them to proactively use and maximize the capability of available technologies, and how these can be instrumental in our commitment to providing safe, reliable, and convenient rides,” said Uber Philippines General Manager Laurence Cua.

Well, who knew that taking a selfie could serve a functional purpose after all.