Uber Now Looking to Record Audio of Driver-Customer Interactions


In what is likely to be considered a massive overreach in terms of privacy, rideshare giant Uber could soon be listening in on your travels.

In the world of technologically-enhanced convenience, we as Americans have, at time foolishly, rescinded our right to privacy for the sake of saving a few dollars or gaining a few minutes.  With social media, we often allow companies such as Twitter or Facebook to profile us in secret, harvest our data, and then sell this personal information to advertisers who seek to target us.

This insidious behavior is bad enough, but when we allow to Amazon and Google to place devices akin to wiretaps in our home, an entirely new level of invasiveness can be attained.

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So, when we finally step out for the night, we can only hope that this unwanted surveillance ends at the door, right?

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Wrong.

Uber will apparently start recording audio during rides in the US, as part of the ride-hailing company’s recent safety push. The feature will let users opt in for trips and come with a warning that journeys can be recorded, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The company will pilot the feature in Brazilian and Mexican cities in December, and it will share recordings with law enforcement upon request, Reuters reported earlier this month.

Here’s where is gets ugly.

Neither riders nor drivers will be able to listen to the recordings, the Post noted, and the audio will be encrypted for privacy purposes. After a trip, people will apparently get the chance to report a safety incident and send the recording to Uber customer support agents, who’ll assess the situation.

There are concerns, of course, specifically as it pertains to how these recordings could be used in violation of our Fourth Amendment rights against search and seizure, possibly in coordination with the police or other authorities.

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