Cue curbside selfies: Uber launches mask verification protocol

The technology detects the mask as an object in the photo and “does not process biometric data," according to the company.

Uber riders may soon be asked to upload a quick selfie showcasing your masked mug after the company announced it would be rolling out a new mask verification protocol to help stem the spread of COVID-19 in Canada and the U.S.

The so-called “rider mask verification feature” will act as a backstop for drivers who want to report a rider not wearing a mask. 

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“The rider will be required to take a selfie with their face covered before they’re able to take another trip with Uber,” wrote a spokesperson in a written statement. 

The idea is to ensure the safety of everyone involved, including the next Uber driver.

Uber mask verification feature is meant to ensure passengers are wearing masks amidst the COVID-19 p
Uber mask verification feature is meant to ensure passengers are wearing masks amidst the COVID-19 pandemic - Uber/screenshots

According to the company, the technology detects the mask as an object in the photo and “does not process biometric data."

The mask verification technology builds off previous features put in place earlier this year to ensure drivers of Uber and Uber Eats wear a mask. To date, the company says more than 3.5 million drivers and delivery people have completed more than 100 million mask verifications. 

The new protocol is scheduled to take effect across Canada and the U.S. by the end of September, and in Latin America and other countries after that.

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