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Selfie for security: Uber drivers to share their pic to ensure right person behind the wheel

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TransportReal-Time ID Check aims to protect both drivers and passengers.TNM StaffUber facebook-compressed.jpgUber/FacebookCab aggregator Uber has launched a new security feature that will require its drivers to share a selfie in order to ensure that driver using the app matches the account on company’s records.
Called Real-Time ID Check, the security feature uses Microsoft Cognitive Services and aims to protect both drivers and passengers. 
“Real-Time ID Check prompts drivers to share a selfie before going online to help ensure the driver using the app matches the account we have on file. This prevents fraud and protects drivers’ accounts from being compromised. It also protects riders by building another layer of accountability into the app to ensure the right person is behind the wheel,” Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer, Uber, said. 


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The feature, which was successfully deployed in the US last year, has currently been launched in five cities in India, starting with New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata. It will be extended to others cities later. 
How does it work?
“Drivers are periodically asked to share a selfie with Uber before they log onto the app; we then instantly compare this photo to the one corresponding with the account on file. If the two photos don’t match, the account is temporarily suspended while we look into the matter further,” Uber said in a statement. 
Drivers will be asked to submit their photos before they log in and it can be random at times too. It could be triggered by other indicators including rider feedback or suspicious behaviour like driving two consecutive trips on opposite sides of a city, it added. 

The feature will help prevent fraud and protect the drivers’ accounts from being compromised. 
As for riders, it will act as “another layer of accountability into the app to ensure the right person is behind the wheel. We have several safety features for riders – access to driver details, share your journey, navigation, SOS function, etc. With real-time ID check, a pre- emptive feature, we are accounting for an untoward situation, where a fraudster forcefully takes over the driver’s seat,” stated Uber. 
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