Uber wants to record your trip chats

21 November 2019 - 08:49 By AFP Relaxnews
Uber logo is seen at its headquarters in San Francisco, California on October 15, 2019.
Uber logo is seen at its headquarters in San Francisco, California on October 15, 2019.
Image: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Uber plans to test a safety feature that lets passengers and drivers record their conversations and share them with the rideshare service, the company said on Wednesday.

A test run of the option is planned to start next month in Brazil and Mexico, with the potential to expand it beyond those countries.

“If necessary, this tool can help give us more clarity about what happened inside the vehicle on a trip,” Uber global security products director Sachin Kansal said in an online post.

The move comes amid rising concerns about safety, and reports of assaults and harassment in rideshare vehicles.

Recording conversations could help determine facts in a dispute, but could also raise issues about privacy.

Audio recorded using the feature in the Uber smartphone app is encrypted and left on the handset, where it remains, unless a rider or driver decides to share it with the California-based company, according to Sachin.

At the end of a trip, the Uber app will query whether there was a problem during the ride and whether a person wants to send the audio file.

The audio can't be replayed by riders or drivers, according to the company. Uber has software “keys” to unlock encrypted audio that it is given.


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