Uber may soon know if you’re wearing a mask or not. The ride-sharing service will require passengers who refuse to wear masks to take “a masked selfie” before they can even request a ride.
Since May, Uber has required both drivers and passengers to wear masks due to the coronavirus pandemic. While many have complied, the new procedure is for those who failed to follow the rules.
“If we do have people who are still violating the policy, we want to be able to verify them with an extra step,” Uber’s senior director of product management, Sachin Kansal, told ABC News. “And if they’re not wearing a mask, they will not be able to take a ride.”
Uber unveiled similar technology for drivers back in May.
In May, the ride-sharing service unveiled the same face detection protocols for its drivers. The software can determine if a driver is wearing a face mask based on a photo and refuse to allow the driver online. The technology can even detect if a mask is pulled over a person’s nose.
Passengers have had their own checklist to complete before getting a ride. But this is the first time, the ride-sharing service has required a photo of them.
“We want to continue to educate the users who may not be aware of this policy,” Kansal said. “They’re just coming back, let’s say, and using Uber after a long time.”
Kansal said the service deletes the picture after four days and only stores it that long in case of an issue or complaint. The company hopes the new protocol will reduce violations.
“If we find that riders or drivers have been in violation of the policy, we will first educate them,” Kansal explained. “We will send them emails. We want to make sure that they actually understand what the policy is. But if we see repeat violation, then we can take further action, including taking them off the platform.”