If You’re an Irresponsible Jackass, Uber Will Soon Ask for Proof You’re Wearing a Mask

Illustration for article titled If You’re an Irresponsible Jackass, Uber Will Soon Ask for Proof You’re Wearing a Mask
Photo: Robyn Beck (Getty Images)

Yet another popular rideshare company will soon require documented proof that you’re not behaving like an idiot when using its service. Uber says it will soon introduce a mask-verification feature that requires riders to submit selfies as proof of a mask, a tool the company introduced for its drivers earlier this year.

Uber announced Tuesday that users reported by drivers for failing to wear a mask while using the ride-hailing service will soon be prompted to take a selfie next time they ride, showing that their face is covered. The verification tool will be introduced by the end of September in the US and Canada, and will arrive in Latin America and other regions thereafter.

According to Uber, neither the driver nor rider selfie verification tool processes biometric data. The tool also specifies that the selfie is not shared with the Uber driver.


Uber isn’t the only company employing face-scanning technology to ensure that folks are following basic precautionary measures while using its service. Moped-sharing service Revel—which was temporarily yanked from New York City streets earlier this year following multiple fatal crashes—reintroduced the hell bikes last week with some additional safety protocols. Among these, Revel now requires riders to submit selfies as proof they’re wearing a helmet. (A safety quiz is also required of would-be Revel users, even those cleared by the service before.)

By all indications, and as with Revel’s verification tool, any rider could probably snap a picture of themselves and remove their mask or helmet once their ride is underway. But given that masks are now required of everyone by Uber’s rules—and obviously, setting aside that failing to wear one is both reckless and shitty—testing the limits of this second-chance verification process isn’t advisable.

Just wear a fucking mask.

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I’m in California and I took my first Lyft since February and our driver made a point to say twice along our route that if I wanted, I no longer needed to wear my mask. I thought that was pretty strange considering another friend took one as well and received a warning in an email saying she needs to remember to wear it (a few beverages deep and forgot to pop it on) or will be not allowed to use them in the future.