Uber on Tuesday, 2 September, announced that its 'No Mask, No Ride' policy has been extended to customers globally as well. The feature will be first rolled out in North American and Latin American by the end of September and other regions will follow, reported Reuters.
The policy, released globally on 18 May, mandated drivers to wear a face-cover at all times during the ride. Drivers were required to take a selfie with a mask each day, before starting work and every ride. This policy has now been extended to riders as well.
Both parties can cancel the ride without penalty if they report the other party is not wearing a mask. Failure to comply to this policy can result in account deactivation.
However, unlike for drivers, the rider app will only prompt a passenger to take a selfie if a driver previously reported they were not wearing a mask.
According to the report, the selfie feature does not use facial recognition technology, but simply detects the mask as an object on the face, Kansal said. Uber will be storing the photos for 96 hours to settle potential disputes, but will be subsequently deleting them permanently.
Demands for ride-sharing apps dropped sharply in India due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent nationwide shutdown. Uber India in May announced that it will be laying off its 600 staffers due to lockdown and unprecedented decline in demand.