How does Uber verify my photo?

Why am I being asked to take a photo of myself?

Uber’s Community Guidelines and your agreement to access the Uber platform do not allow you to share your account. This is to help keep our users and platform safe for everyone. For this reason, to help verify that your account is yours, and is not being used by other people, we may occasionally ask you to take a real-time photo of yourself before you go online. We then compare this photo with your profile photo to make sure it’s the same person. We appreciate your assistance in helping keep your account secure.

How do I take a photo of myself?

The process happens in the Uber app. You’ll be asked to take a real-time, or live photo of yourself, like a selfie.

As the photo will be used to compare against your profile photo, you should make sure it is good quality. Ways to take a good quality photo include:

  • Keeping your face and neck inside the white guidelines on the screen
  • Making sure there is plenty of light (turn on the lights if its dark)
  • Holding the phone steady so the photo isn’t blurry
  • Having no one else in the background
  • Having your face clearly visible and not covered by anything, like a hat or a scarf

You should not take a photo of someone else, or a photo of another photo as this will fail the comparison and stop you being able to go online.

Your real-time photo will be compared to your profile photo, which is who we know is definitely you. This means you should make sure that your profile photo is always up to date, particularly if your appearance has significantly changed. If you need help updating your profile picture, go here.

How does the photo comparison work?

We complete verifications in 2 different ways, depending on applicable laws where you live.

First, in most places, when you take this photo in the app, it is sent to us and shared with Microsoft, our service provider. Microsoft, operating under our instructions, then uses facial verification software to compare this photo with your profile photo you previously uploaded. This comparison is done by creating a biometric faceprint of each photo, and checking to see whether the faceprints match.

Photos that are flagged as potentially not a match are immediately submitted for human review by three different identity verification specialists. You may lose access to the platform if at least two out of the three specialists determine your photos do not match. Because this process requires the input of three people, it can take a few minutes.

Second, in places where laws significantly restrict the use of facial verification technology and require an alternate method of verification, including the European Union and United Kingdom, you may choose to verify your real-time photo with or without the use of facial verification technology. If you choose not to have your photo verified using the facial verification software, we will send your profile picture and the photo you send us for verification directly to our identity verification specialists. They then follow the same process described above. Note that in certain places where laws strictly limit or prohibit the use of facial verification technology, we may only provide for human review.

What happens if my photo isn’t verified?

If your verification photo doesn’t look like the person in your profile photo, you submit a photo of an existing photo, or submit an otherwise non-compliant photo, access to your account may be waitlisted for 24 hours or suspended indefinitely.

What can I do if my account is deactivated, but I think the decision is wrong?

If you think that your account was incorrectly deactivated, you can appeal the decision in the app.

  • When you make an appeal, the identity verification specialists will review:
  • Your profile photo
  • Your real-time photo
  • Any other real-time photos you have submitted before as part of this process
  • Your identification document

Including your previous real-time photos will help the specialists to take into account any changes to your appearance, such as facial hair or glasses. If they then find that the photos are of the same person, then your account will be reactivated and the non-matching result will not be taken into account for future checks or appeals.

If the specialists still find that the photos are not of the same person or that your selfie is otherwise non-compliant, then your account will remain deactivated.

Do you tell anyone about the decision that is made?

We do not proactively tell anyone about the verification decisions we reach, though we may disclose this information to authorized authorities with appropriate legal process.

How long is my data retained for and how is it kept secure?

You only have one face, and unlike a password, it can’t be changed if something happens to it, so we take steps to help make sure your data remains secure. An important part of this is ensuring we only retain your data for as long as necessary to achieve our safety purpose. Uber will keep these photos for one year in the European Union and United Kingdom and 3 years in all other countries. These retention periods are set to allow us to investigate potential account integrity issues, particularly if something goes wrong. To help further protect your photos, we limit access to those that need to be able to see them. Uber does not receive or store your biometric data. Microsoft does not store any photos and also deletes all biometric data upon completion of the process.

Transgender users

We want to ensure that transgender and transitioning earners are always able to earn using the Uber app. Our support teams are prepared to help should you have any issues while completing a verification. Please navigate to Account > Account settings in the Help Center to update your profile picture.

Right of substitution (United Kingdom delivery only)

If you reside in the United Kingdom and choose to use a substitute to complete deliveries, the identity verification process helps us ensure only you or your appointed substitutes can access your account. The aim is to verify your identity and to ensure that the account holder continues to have access to their account every 14 days.

Learn more about substitution here.

To learn more about how Uber uses your data and your data rights, please review our Privacy Notice.