USERS OF the ride-hailing service Uber reported for not wearing a face covering will be asked to use a mask scanning feature before their next journey.
Passengers in the US and Canada will see the new tech in operation by the end of this month before it’s rolled out to other countries.
If the scanner does not detect a mask, a driver will be blocked from picking up the customer. Both driver and rider are required to wear a mask throughout each journey and failure to stick to the rules may lead to account deactivation.
Uber — which already requires drivers to submit a ‘mask selfie’ before starting work — claims that the scanner does not use facial recognition technology but detects the mask as an object on the face. The company also says images will be stored for 96 hours in order to settle any disputes before being permanently deleted.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted that “accountability is a two-way street” urging users to help protect one another.
Accountability is a two-way street. That's why we’re expanding mask verification to riders, in addition to drivers. We're all in this together, so let’s help protect one another. https://t.co/UzcPZJvA8c
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) September 1, 2020
Uber’s senior director of product management, Sachin Kansal, painted the new tech as a friendly reminder to returning customers who may have missed the ‘no mask, no ride’ rule introduced in May.
“We definitely wanted to make sure that we are targeting this feature to riders who are maybe just coming back to the platform and maybe they’re not aware of our mask policy,” he said.