Uber’s selfie security system arrives in South Africa

uber selfie real time id check system

Transportation service Uber might’ve changed the way many travel about in South Africa, but it’s also changing the way we use selfies.

The company today announced a new security measure called Real-Time ID Check, which will require its drivers to occasionally send a selfie to Uber for verification purposes. The company then compares the picture sent to records of the driver, to allow said driver to operate the app.

“This prevents fraud and protects drivers’ accounts from being compromised,” the company writes on its official blog.

“It also protects riders by building another layer of accountability into the app to ensure the right person is behind the wheel.”

It sounds remarkably simple, but that’s largely the direction the company aims to head.

Uber’s selfie-based Real-Time ID Check system is rolling out in South Africa today

“This new development is part of Uber’s ongoing commitment to creating simple, intuitive technology that not only makes the lives of riders and driver-partners easier, but keeps everyone safe at every step of their Uber journey,” the transportation company told Memeburn in a press statement.

The company also notes that it had tried using voice, facial and gesture recognition services, but a selfie “is a language that people all over the world understand”. Uber has also employed the services of Microsoft’s Cognitive Servics, or more specifically Microsoft’s Face API, which “instantly compares the two photos to determine whether there is a match.”

Real-Time ID Check will be rolled out in phases, so not all drivers will be met with the new system initially. Drivers will also be asked to verify their identity at random.

“This new development is part of Uber’s ongoing commitment to creating simple, intuitive technology that not only makes the lives of riders and driver-partners easier, but keeps everyone safe at every step of their Uber journey,” the company concludes.

Andy Walker
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