Uber considers biometrics in bid to improve safety

The ride-sharing app Uber has unveiled new security plans to screen drivers, helping ensure passenger safety, Engadget reports.

Writing in a blog post titled ‘Our Commitment to Safety’, the company’s global security head, Philip Cardenas, took steps to defend the company’s safety record in the light of recent criticism, but accepted that there was “more work to do”.

Most interestingly in these steps, Uber will be verifying its drivers with biometrics, voice fingerprinting and lie detector tests for “enhanced driver screening”. This will be accompanied by currently unspecified “ways to provide riders the instant ability to communicate with us and their loved ones in the event of an emergency, building on our ShareMyETA feature.”

On top of that, the ride-sharing app will strengthen its background checks, noting that internationally standards are not universal between regions in which the company operates.

Cardenas explains that this will be accompanied by a network of ‘Safety Incident Response teams’ around the world, who will aim to offer 24/7 instant support, alongside advisory and training partnerships to educate staff in areas such as women’s safety, conflict resolution and road safety.

Wired points out that Cardenas joined the company from AirBNB where he “worked on similar projects to make the service safer for guests and hosts.”

“Executing well in these areas, acting on recommendations suggested by partners and drawing on experience gleaned by delivering 140 million rides worldwide this year will lead to a new standard in safety for transportation,” Cardenas wrote.

“Of course, no background check can predict future behavior and no technology can yet fully prevent bad actions. But our responsibility is to leverage every smart tool at our disposal to set the highest standard in safety we can. We will not shy away from this task.”

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Author , ESET

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