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Amazon is making its delivery drivers take selfies to reduce fraud

April 23, 2019

The company is using face recognition software to double-check that drivers are who they say they are, The Verge reports.

Why? The new function has recently appeared in Amazon’s Flex app, used by its delivery drivers. 

A genuine issue: It’s a bid to stop multiple people from sharing one person’s account. It’s a problem that other “gig economy” platform apps like Uber also must deal with, given the lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues. Uber implemented a virtually identical policy for its drivers in 2016.

The risk: Although a few friends sharing an account to earn some extra cash might not seem too worrying, the practice could also be exploited by criminals trying to gain access to people’s homes.

But: Face recognition is still far from fully accurate, particularly if you aren’t a white male. We can safely assume Amazon is using its own Rekognition software, which researchers recently found misidentifies darker-skinned women nearly one-third of the time.  

This story first appeared in our daily newsletter, The Download. Sign up here to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.

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