Controversial taxi app service Uber has announced its going to begin hiding driver’s and users’ real phone numbers from one another in an effort to increase safety for all parties. Uber calls the system “phone number anonymisation” and has rolled it out in 13 countries, with more expected to follow in coming months.
Essentially, Uber’s added a software layer that replaces actual phone numbers with temporary ones. Drivers and users will still be able to call one another, but will no longer be able to communicate using SMS messages, and once a trip is complete the driver will no longer be able to contact the passenger.
It’s easy to think of reasons why this is a sensible move, from driver’s harassing passengers to passengers looking to contact drivers directly and cut out Uber or simply to harass them, but it does mean having to deal with the Uber support team should you forget something in an Uber vehicle, which is far less convenient than simply contacting the driver directly.