Amazon is hoping to raise accountability and reduce fraud with a new policy that requires Amazon Flex delivery drivers to take a selfie to confirm their identity. The new requirement specifically applies to Amazon Flex drivers working as independent contractors, who make deliveries with their personal vehicles.
This is not the first time that a company like Amazon has turned to facial recognition to monitor its network. Uber introduced a similar policy for its drivers all the way back in 2016, although that was at least partially a response to legislator demands for more comprehensive biometric background checks.
Like the Uber policy, the Amazon policy will ensure that the right person is behind the wheel, which will make it more difficult for people to share accounts and lower the number of unverified drivers on the road. The extra layer of accountability should also reduce the likelihood of driver theft, although a determined thief could still walk off with a package if they decide they don’t care about the consequences.
Users of the Flex app were notified that Amazon may collect other biometric data to verify their identity. Amazon has come under fire for its willingness to sell its facial recognition tech to the police for surveillance purposes. However, this is an internal deployment of facial recognition that is likely to be far more palatable to the general public.
Source: The Verge
April 24, 2019 – by Eric Weiss