Uber announced today that it will begin to require riders to take selfies to prove that they are wearing masks. A similar feature had been introduced for drivers in May, when the ride-hailing service instituted its "No Mask No Ride" policy, requiring both drivers and riders to wear a face-covering throughout the ride. Sachin Kansal, Uber's Global Head of Safety Product, remarked:
"We firmly believe that accountability is a two-way street. That’s why we’re expanding the same technology to riders, too. If a driver reports to us that a rider wasn’t wearing a mask, the rider will be required to take a selfie with their face covered before they’re able to take another trip with Uber."
Before starting work each day, drivers are required to take a selfie with a mask. Uber has permitted both parties to cancel a trip without penalty if they report the other party is not wearing a mask. Failure to comply can lead to account deactivation. Unlike for drivers, the app will only ask a passenger to take a selfie if a driver previously reported that they were not wearing a mask.
By the end of September, the mask verification feature will roll out to the US and Canada, and across Latin America and other regions after that. Instead of using facial recognition technology, the mask is simply detected as an object on the face, the blog post read.