Amazon is now making its delivery drivers take selfies, confirmed to The Verge, in an attempt to reduce fraud. Using facial recognition, the company will verify drivers' identities to make sure they are who they say they are. The new requirements appeared in the Amazon Flex application for drivers, notifying them that they had to take a selfie before continuing with work. Of course, Amazon warns drivers not to "take a selfie while driving."
By asking drivers to take selfies, Amazon could prevent several people from sharing the same account. These efforts could exclude anyone who does not have technical authorization to deliver packages, such as criminals who try to use Amazon Flex as an excuse to lurk in front of people's homes. In the past, Amazon has also had a problem with dishonest drivers stealing packages, and has even used fake packages to attract thieves. However, the requirement of selfies probably does not help with these efforts: after all, a thief can be exactly who he claims to be and pass the self-test.
The requirements apply only to Flex drivers who are promised flexible schedules and are paid $ 18 to $ 25 per hour. They work as independent contractors, using their own cars to deliver packages. Amazon also notified drivers through the Flex application that their biometric data could be collected "to confirm their identity from time to time", before requesting the selfies.
Amazon has been criticized before for making its factory workers excessively high quotas, forcing them to skip bathroom breaks and urinate in bottles. In contrast, requiring drivers to take selfies seems like a very small question.
Uber implemented a similar policy in 2016 that could indicate how Amazon's new policy might turn out. Uber required drivers to take selfies before logging into the platform and taking travel requests. Critics of the policy said Uber was using it as a bandage for drivers who had eluded background checks. In fact, Google "uber driver selfie", and the first result that appears is a person who asks in a forum "how to overcome uber selfie". In 2018, there were reports of transgender drivers from Uber who found their accounts suspended after taking a selfie and not matching the previous photos in the file, due to being in different points of a gender transition, which shows that the recognition Facial is not a perfect solution to verify identities.