Uber Increases Privacy and Safety by Anonymising Phone Numbers

Nairobi, 12th July 2018…. Today Uber has announced new privacy changes to its app in Nairobi that now anonymizes phone numbers of driver-partners and riders.

As of 12 July 2018, drivers and riders will no longer have access to each other’s private phone numbers. “Phone anonymization is a safety precaution, ensuring that the privacy of both driver-partners and riders is considered at all times,” says Loic Amado, General Manager for Uber in East Africa.

Uber will now use software to connect calls between a driver and a rider that anonymizes both cell phone numbers. Drivers will now see the same contact number for each rider that contacts them. Once a trip comes to an end, riders are encouraged to use Uber’s 24/7 in-app support should they need to reach a driver.

“The benefit of using our in-app support is two-fold. Riders have access to 24/7 support in the event that they need assistance (no more calling a driver that cannot be reached due to the driver being on the road). Secondly, this change has the added benefit of keeping a formal track record of communication. Uber will have a record of correspondence to assist with a request, for example, in the event of a rider having left an item in a vehicle,” says Amado.

Phone anonymization complies with Uber’s Community Guidelines (Swahili) promoting mutual respect between riders and drivers by securing each identity and preventing either from contacting each other unnecessarily post a trip.