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Uber Deploys ‘Disguised Phone Numbers’ To Protect Personal Contact Information

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San Francisco HQ’d American company, Uber has been quite busy in the last few months, making its services better in India. Just over the period of the last six months, we’ve seen Uber introduce a number of pioneering safety initiatives. All in all, the transportation service is promptly committed to safety in the subcontinent. 

Just today, Uber has announced a new scheme that allows their users and driver-partners to keep their personal data hidden. The scheme, known as Disguised Phone Number, is a one-of-a-kind tech innovation that will enable users and drivers to interact with each other via anonymous phone numbers.

Deval Delivala, Uber’s India Safety Lead, said,

We care deeply about the safety of our riders and drivers.  This new safety technology will help provide increased security before, during and after the ride.

The new tech innovation will ensure that any calls between riders and driver-partners are connected using anonymous phone numbers which will result into the fact that both the parties can interact with each other, coordinate a pick-up etc, without revealing any personal information. The blog post announcing the new feature reads:

As always safety is our priority. And that’s why we are investing in new technology so that we can help ensure people’s safety before, during and after the ride. To learn more about Uber’s commitment to safety in India, you can read more here.

Over the past few months, the company opted for a re-verification of all driver-partners with the police across cities. They established  a dedicated local Incident Response Team that is on call 24/7 to handle critical situations.

We also saw additional independent background screening of all driver-partner, as well as an SOS button to connect riders with the local police in the event of an emergency. We also got a Send Status feature so riders could share live GPS location and complete trip information (driver photo, name, vehicle type, license number etc) with pre-selected emergency contacts. Additionally, Uber sparked the creation of bespoke SOS alert solution for law enforcement across India.

All in all, we can conclude that Uber has started to take safety and privacy very seriously in India. The services of the company are available in  22 Indian cities— more than any other country outside the United States. It also had a rapid growth in the country which allowed it to quickly gain a significant market share of over 40 percent.


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