Technology

Uber tests video recording trips in Brazil for safety

The pilot will allow partner drivers to record images of all trips and aims to assess the impact of technology on safety

Photo: Uber/Courtesy
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  • The pilot will start with a small group and will gradually be expanded until reaching all the partner drivers in Aracaju;
  • Partners can choose to participate or leave that pilot at any time.

Uber this week announced that it has started a video recording pilot while traveling with the app in the Brazilian city of Aracaju. The feature available through a partner company, will allow drivers to use their own cell phone camera to record all trips made with Uber.

Filming via telephone is being tested as a scalable, free-of-cost alternative for recording trips with images by partner drivers. If implemented, the solution will be available to anyone who wants to drive with the app anywhere.

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“Since Uber defined safety as its priority globally, we have continuously sought to test new technologies that help us to advance in this area”, explains the director-general of Uber in Brazil, Claudia Woods. “We want to understand whether this image recording technology can help partner drivers and users have even more peace of mind to continue using Uber, of course, always respecting privacy rules.”

The pilot will start with a small group and will gradually be expanded until reaching all the partner drivers in Aracaju. Partners can choose to participate or leave that pilot at any time. Users connected to the drivers participating in the test will also be informed that their trip may be being recorded so that they can choose to cancel and seek another driver if they choose so. According to Uber, the initiative was approved by the Uber Privacy team, to ensure compliance with all rules provided for in applicable legislation in terms of data protection.

READ ALSO: Uber extends trips’ audio recording in 38 Mexican cities

As with the audio recording feature, launched nationwide recently, the video recording will also remain encrypted on the cell phone, without anyone being able to access it – not even the driver himself, who does not have the encryption key.

When the partner driver sends the file (via wi-fi or mobile network), it will be stored with the Uber’s partner company, which will only have access to the basic information of the partner and the date/time of the recording (but without any data about users, nor pick up or arrival, etc). If the driver later decides to file a security complaint, they will have the option to add the video. Only then will Uber – which has the encryption key – have access to the images. In addition to the call opened by the partner itself to request an investigation from Uber, only the competent authorities can request access to the images for Uber, following Brazil’s law.

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