Clicking selfies has always been in trend to capture any special moments. But who would have thought that this trend could actually get incorporated by a leading e-commerce company for their smooth business functioning?
According to the reports by The Verge, Amazon is now asking its delivery drivers to take selfies, in a bid to reduce fraud. Using facial recognition, the company will verify drivers’ identities to make sure they are who they say they are. The new alterations appeared on the Amazon Flex app to drivers, notifying them that they require clicking a selfie before continuing work. Of course, Amazon warns drivers to “not take a selfie while driving.”
By urging its drivers to take selfies, Amazon could help in preventing multiple people from sharing the same account. The initiative could highlight anyone who is technically unauthorised from delivering packages, such as criminals who are attempting to use Amazon Flex as an excuse to skulk in front of people’s homes. In the past, the e-commerce company also had a problem with dishonest drivers who steal packages, and it has even used fake packages to lure out thieves. Though the initiate is a good one it comes with several cons as well. The selfie requirement likely won’t help with these efforts, as after all, a thief can be exactly who they say they are and pass the selfie test.
The requirement gets applicable to the Flex drivers who have flexible working hours and gets paid USD 18 to USD 25 an hour. They work as independent contractors, using their own cars to deliver packages. Earlier before taking up this great initiative, the company had notified all its drivers via the Flex app for the collection of their biometric data “to confirm your identity from time to time.”
Amazon has come under fire before for making its factory workers meet unreasonably high quotas, forcing them to skip out on bathroom breaks and pee in bottles. In contrast, requiring drivers to take selfies seems like a very small ask.
Meanwhile, Uber had also implemented a similar policy in 2016 that could have hammered Amazon to incorporate this new policy. Uber required drivers to take selfies before signing into the platform and taking ride requests. Critics of the policy said Uber was using it as a bandage for drivers who had eluded background checks.
In 2018, reports surfaced of transgender Uber drivers finding their accounts suspended after taking a selfie and having it not match up to previous photos on file, due to being in different points of a gender transition, proving that facial recognition isn’t a perfect solution for verifying identities.