In The Midst of a Controversy, Uber Launches Security Features For Passengers

Uber adds features to its application to ensure the safety of its passengers and drivers. One of them allows for example to record conversations, a point that could become important with the rise of the #UberCestOver movement.

On November 6, Uber announced new security features to protect its service passengers and drivers. Launched in Brazil and Mexico only for the time being, these new products should be deployed on a larger scale in the coming months.

A point that would only be a first step to calm the discontent that is currently rising on social networks with the #UberCestOver hashtag.

Several Layers of Security

In order to make passengers as responsible as drivers, the Uber application now includes, in some countries, a document scanning system (for passengers who do not have a pre-registered means of payment),

a verification of the identity of the driver by a video selfie, an ultrasonic password system broadcast between the driver’s and passenger’s smartphones to ensure that it is the right race,

a reporting system during the race to allow passengers to report a problem on the way, but also a route check and a voice recorder.

The latter two functions are particularly interesting since the first one “can identify and report rare events, such as a long unplanned stop on the route” and thus “launch a check and send a message to the partner pilot and the user asking him if assistance is needed”,

while the second one allows both the passenger and the driver to record conversations inside the vehicle from their smartphone,

then encrypt the recording and store it on their smartphone. It is then possible to send it to Uber when a problem is reported.

#UberCestOver

This announcement comes as the #UberCestOver movement, launched by victims of assaults and rapes by Uber drivers, is growing in France. We can thus find many testimonies accompanied by hashtag on social networks.

Of course, many complaints have been filed with the VTC platform, which stated in Le Figaro that “as soon as a report is registered, an internal investigation is automatically launched.

We call the driver back, check his history and his account is temporarily deactivated. Apparently unsuccessful since the attacks do not seem to slow down and the sanctions do not seem to go any further than a temporary suspension.

Privacy Issues

However, it should be noted that not all the features mentioned above can necessarily be deployed everywhere for legal reasons.

Indeed, some countries, for example, are very straddling the recording of a conversation without the knowledge of one of the protagonists.

In France, for example, it is considered an invasion of privacy. Uber will therefore have to refine his tools on a case-by-case basis, but also hasten to offer solutions to solve his aggression problem.

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