Uber, the controversial crowd-sourcing taxi service, has announced that it will implement new measures to screen drivers including biometric analysis, according to a CNN Tech article by Chris Isidore. Uber’s head of safety, Phillip Cardenas, has stated that the new screening protocol will involve voice recognition and possibly other biometric checks, presumably to authenticate the identities of potential drivers.
The company has come under fire lately for controversies related to how it screens its drivers, mostly involving sexual assaults against passengers. Biometric checks may enable Uber to screen out any drivers with disconcerting criminal histories.
It isn’t yet clear exactly what form these biometric measures will take, but it’s possible that they could go further than screening drivers at the time of application; it isn’t a stretch to image voice-based authentication systems being used in the cars themselves, given the ongoing incursion of biometrics into everyday life. While such measures could raise some privacy concerns, Uber will want to consider this against the risks to passengers if the technology is not in place.
December 19, 2014 – by Alex Perala