Why Uber is asking some South Africans for a selfie to prove they're wearing a mask

Business Insider US
A driver adjusts his face mask as Uber and Lyft drivers with Rideshare Drivers United and the? Transport Workers Union of America conduct a ‘caravan protest’ outside the California Labor Commissioner’s office amidst the coronavirus pandemic on April 16, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The drivers called for California to enforce the AB 5 law so that they may qualify for unemployment insurance as the spread of COVID-19 continues. Drivers also called for receiving back wages they say they are owed.
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  • Uber now requires that some passengers upload mask selfies to prove they're wearing one. 
  • The rule will be enforced if drivers report a rider for not wearing a mask. 
  • Earlier this year, Uber began requiring all drivers upload similar verification selfies to ensure mask compliance. 
  • Masks have been proven to successfully slow transmission of the coronavirus, which has hobbled Uber's core business. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Uber riders will now be required to upload a mask selfie if a driver reports them as not wearing appropriate face protection, the company announced in SA on Wednesday. If they don't, they won't be allowed to ride again.

"It has always been mandatory for both riders and drivers to wear a mask while using the Uber app. Earlier this year (May), Uber rolled out innovative technology designed to verify that drivers on Uber and delivery people on Uber Eats are wearing a mask. Before starting to drive passengers or deliver food, they are asked to take a selfie showing their mouth and nose are covered," says Uber South Africa's spokesperson. 

"Uber firmly believes that accountability is a two-way street. That’s why the same technology has now been expanded to riders, too. If a driver reports to Uber 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. With the addition of this new feature, one driver’s feedback can help ensure the safety of Uber for the next driver."

Earlier this year, Uber started requiring all drivers to upload the same verification photo proving they have a mask in order to drive. The company said more than 3 million drivers have uploaded more than 100 million selfies since June when the verification technology was introduced.

Face masks have been proven to help slow the spread of the virus, which travels primarily through respiratory droplets and aerosol particles.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in May that for many passengers and drivers, their next Uber trip in a world radically changed by the Covid-19 pandemic would be like a first trip all over again. However, overall ride volumes remain significantly hampered by the coronavirus outbreak.

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