Uber is making its drivers take selfies to verify identity

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Uber is rolling out new technology in its app that helps to ensure the right driver is behind the wheel.

The America-based company's ride sharing app has become incredibly popular as a modern alternative to hailing a taxi. However, security issues have troubled the company as critics say it doesn't do enough checks on drivers.

Today, Uber announced a new security system called Real-Time ID that's being rolled out in the USA. Drivers will now be periodically asked to take a selfie in the app before they can pick up passengers.

The company is using Microsoft's Cognitive Services technology to analyse the driver's face against the photograph it has on file to ensure the correct person is using the account.

If the driver's identity is correctly verified they can immediately start picking people up, but if the photo is rejected the account is temporarily blocked until an Uber employee can check it.

In a blog post about the new feature, the company said: "We're constantly developing and testing new solutions to prevent and reduce risks. During our pilot of Real-Time ID Check over the past few months, the majority of mismatches were due to unclear profile photos. And more than 99 per cent of drivers were ultimately verified. Given that verification takes only a few seconds to complete, this feature proactively and efficiently builds more security into the app."

Real-Time ID is currently only available in the USA, but it is expected to roll out to the rest of the world in time.