Getting Into Cars with Strangers
One in five U.S adults feel “somewhat unsafe” or “not safe at all,” using online sharing services, according to a recent survey from trusted identity as service provider company Jumio. Online sharing from companies like Uber and Airbnb, which allow users to connect to each other via an online platform, is rapidly increasing in size, forecasted to reach 86.5 million users by 2021. Although Jumio’s global trust and safety survey did not identify the specific reasons why people distrust online sharing services, their Vice President for Global Marketing Dean Nicolls sees issues rising from getting into the car of a stranger.
“Will they harm me? Will they drive safely? Will they be rude?”
are just some of the questions customers ask themselves as they use ride-sharing apps, Nicolls said.
Making Sharing Safe
In order to win customer’s trust, companies must implement identity verification to ensure that drivers are who they say they are. Rather than just submitting their drivers’ licenses and identification cards as they apply to work on platforms, drivers should verify their identity every time they drive in order to confirm that they are who they say they are, he continued.
Jumio, which works with companies like Airbnb and United Airlines, offers identity verification in the form of government licenses or passports plus selfies for re-authentication. The entire process only takes about 30 seconds. Given that the majority of users claimed they wouldn’t spend more than two minutes verifying their identity online for a new sharing service account, Jumio is working on making this process even quicker.
Online Sharing Case Study: Uber
Aside from user identification issues, Uber has had security breaches in the past. In 2017, they had a data breach which compromised the personal information of 57 million users. Reuters reported that Uber paid $100,000 to keep the hack under wraps and destroy the stolen data. The hacker, who was a 20-year-old man living in Florida, signed a nondisclosure agreement preventing him from future wrongdoing and was not prosecuted further.
On the other hand, Uber has added some features to increase rider safety. Last April, they debuted their in-app 911 button which allows riders to discreetly call 911. The button is part of the “Safety Center” in the Uber app which provides information regarding the “driving screening process, insurance protections, and community guidelines”. Although Uber has had their cybersecurity issues in the past, they have taken steps to verify their drivers and protect their riders.