- Amazon is requiring delivery drivers to snap selfies to verify their identities.
- The selfies are meant to protect drivers from unauthorized usage of their Amazon Flex accounts, an Amazon spokeswoman said.
- The photos could prevent people — some of whom may not have undergone background checks or be authorized to work for Amazon — from delivering packages under accounts that don’t belong to them.
- Amazon recently asked drivers to consent to the collection and storage of their biometric data.
Amazon is requiring delivery drivers to snap selfies on the road to verify their identities, the company confirmed to Business Insider.
The new requirements apply to Amazon Flex drivers, who work as independent contractors and deliver packages using their own vehicles.
The Amazon Flex app recently started prompting some drivers to share selfies with a pop-up message that says: "To continue delivering, please help us verify your identity by taking a selfie. Do not take a selfie while driving. This photo won’t be shown to customers."
The app uses facial-recognition software to determine whether the photos match images stored in drivers’ accounts.
The selfies are meant to protect drivers from unauthorized usage of their Flex accounts, an Amazon spokeswoman said.
In other words, the photos could prevent people — some of whom may not have undergone background checks or be authorized to work for Amazon — from delivering packages under accounts that don’t belong to them.
Before Amazon started requesting selfies, the company asked drivers to consent to the collection and storage of their photos and biometric data.
"Amazon Flex may collect, store, use, and derive biometric data from your submitted pictures (including your pictures we already have on file), driver’s license, or government-issued ID (such pictures and derived biometric data collectively are your ‘identity data’)," a notification within the Flex app stated. "Amazon Flex will use your Identity Data to confirm your identity from time to time. Amazon Flex will keep your Identity Data for as long as permitted by applicable law or until you request deletion."
Uber implemented a similar strategy three years ago, starting to periodically ask drivers to take selfies before accepting rides.
"This prevents fraud and protects drivers’ accounts from being compromised," Joe Sullivan wrote in a blog post in 2016, when he was head of security for the ride-sharing service. "It also protects riders by building another layer of accountability into the app to ensure the right person is behind the wheel."
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