Uber testing new recording feature in three cities

Tech

(WNCN) — Uber drivers and passengers are now able to record audio during their trips in three cities as part of a test for what Uber calls a safety feature.

Riders and drivers in Kansas City, Louisville and Raleigh-Durham will be able to record individual trips. They can either choose which trips to record or just record all of them.

Uber’s website says the rider or driver can start a recording, but only the person who initiates the recording will know it’s happening. Before the trip begins, Uber will let the rider and driver know it may be recorded.

“We firmly believe in two-way accountability. This new audio recording safety feature is another tool that will help empower both drivers and riders and give them added peace of mind when they are on a trip,” said Sachin Kasal, vice president of product management, in a news release.

Once an audio recording is finished, the file is encrypted and stored on the driver’s or rider’s phone, the company said. In order to protect the privacy of the rider and driver, no one will be able to listen to the recording — including Uber.

If a safety incident is reported by either party, the audio file can be attached to the report and will then be decrypted by a “trained safety agent” who will review the recording.

“We kept privacy, as well as transparency, top-of-mind when designing this feature,” said Uttara Sivaram, head of privacy and security public policy.

The audio recording feature launched in Latin America in 2019 and is currently being used in 14 countries, according to Uber.

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