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Selfies required: Uber might make you prove that you’re masked up on your next ride

Sept. 01, 2020
3 min read
Selfies required: Uber might make you prove that you’re masked up on your next ride
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The next time you leave the house and hop in an Uber, run through your mental checklist: Front door locked? Check. Got your mask, phone and wallet? Check. Selfie? Check.

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GIF courtesy of Uber
GIF courtesy of Uber

As part of the push to maintain public safety, ride-hailing companies began requiring drivers and riders to cover their faces in May. And as part of that policy, more than 3.5 million drivers and delivery people have completed 100 million mask verifications to date, according to Uber.

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Now, Uber is taking measures one step further to bring riders on board as well. If a driver reports that a passenger is not wearing a mask, the rider will be required to prove that they are wearing one by taking and uploading a selfie within the Uber app.

Related: Lyft and Uber require all drivers, riders to wear masks

"We firmly believe that accountability is a two-way street," the company announced in a press release Tuesday, Sept. 1. "If a driver reports to us that a rider wasn’t wearing a mask, the rider will be required to take a selfie with their face covered before they’re able to take another trip with Uber."

The selfie feature has been active in the driver's version of the Uber app since the mandate was first required in May. Delivery people working for Uber Eats are also required to adhere to the same policy by uploading a selfie showing their mouth and nose covered by a face covering.

Related: These are the best credit cards for ride hailing services

"We require all Uber users to wear a mask when driving, riding or delivering," Sachin Kansal, Uber's Global Head of Safety and Driver Product, told TPG. "We believe [rider mask verification] will add another layer of safety and hope this new feature empowers drivers.”

The same verification technology will be rolled out to passengers in the U.S. and Canada by the end of September, then deployed in other countries including Latin America. As with the driver mask verification tool, this technology detects the mask as an object in the photo and does not process biometric information, Uber said.

TPG's 9 favorite masks for travel

As always, riders and drivers can cancel a trip without penalty if the other party isn’t wearing a mask. "As more and more riders and drivers take their “second first trip,” we hope this increased accountability provides more peace of mind," Uber said in the press release.

The company is encouraging riders and drivers to follow basic hygiene protocols for COVID prevention as well, including:

Wash: Wash or sanitize your hands before you ride
Wear: Wear a face cover or mask
Air: Sit in the back seat and roll down your window for airflow

Since March, the company says it has sourced nearly 30 million masks and face covers, and distributed masks to 1.4 million drivers and delivery people worldwide, free of charge. "We will continue to provide these critical supplies to drivers and delivery people at no charge for at least the remainder of 2020," Uber said.

Featured image by Photo by Anders Dahl Tollestrup/Shutterstock.

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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases