Uber's new mask-selfie verification feature will apply to riders who flout mandate

'Accountability is a two-way street,' Uber said

Uber will require customers to upload a selfie wearing a mask before they are allowed to take a trip, the company announced Tuesday. The rule only applies to riders who previously failed to wear a mask and were reported by a driver.

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"With the addition of this new feature, one driver’s feedback can help ensure the safety of Uber for the next driver," the company wrote in a blog post.

The mask verification feature will roll out to the U.S. and Canada by the end of September and across Latin America and other countries after that, Uber said, adding that the feature doesn't track biometric information but registers the mask as an object in the photo.

The mask verification rule was originally intended only for drivers and delivery workers on Uber Eats as a way to ensure they were wearing a mask while on the job.

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The company reported that over 3.5 million drivers and delivery people have completed more than 100 million mask verifications since the start of the pandemic.

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UBERUBER TECHNOLOGIES INC.33.55-0.85-2.47%

"We firmly believe that accountability is a two-way street. That’s why we’re expanding the same technology to riders, too," Uber said.

The company announced on July 1 that masks would be required by all passengers in the U.S. and Canada indefinitely, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly advised that masks could slow the spread of COVID-19.

Uber's ride bookings plummeted by 73% year-over-year due to the coronavirus, the company said in its Q2 2020 earnings.

It has allocated $50 million to purchase protective equipment, masks and cleaning supplies to protect drivers.

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