Uber to test new safety feature that allows passengers to record rides

National News

(NBC News) – Uber announced plans to give passengers a new safety option where they can record their rides, but it’s raising some privacy concerns.

After some allegations of kidnapping, intimidation, and physical and sexual assault, Uber is set to test drive the new program in Latin America.

Here’s how it would work: When you get into your ride, the Uber app asks if you want to start an audio recording. If you agree, your phone’s microphone will record all conversations, then encrypt and store it on the app for Uber to access if you submit a complaint.

Sounds pretty simple, right? Some privacy experts have concerns.

While 35 states allow audio recordings if just one party in the conversation consents, 15 states require all parties to consent. This could potentially include every passenger in the car, including children and drunk or medicated adults.

“What about the dispute between two passengers, what about two people who get into an arguments in the back of an Uber? Now, they have a recording that’s held by Uber,” Mark Rasch, privacy expert said.

Uber has already been testing video recordings in rides in the U.S. The company hopes to test the audio recording feature in the U.S. soon.

“Our hope is to provide a source of truth if an issue ever occurs during a trip, while protecting the privacy of both riders and drivers,” the company told NBC News.

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