Uber's new plan to spy on your mobile phone

Uber is developing new technology to tell if you are drunk by spying on your mobile phone.

The ride-share giant has applied for a patent to have your phone reveal if you are acting out of character, especially near bars late at night.

For Uber driver Rosalina Kariotakis, chatting to passengers is one of the perks of the job.

Most are friendly but others are a nightmare – especially if drunk.

For Uber driver Rosalina Kariotakis, chatting to passengers is one of the perks of the job – unless they are too drunk. Source: 7 News

“It can ruin a driver’s night completely,” she told 7 News.

In the United States, Uber wants more protection for its drivers.

The app could be used to tell how the customer is walking near a bar, to see how quickly they switch through pages and how fast they type.

More mistakes than normal indicating they are not at their best.

The app would be able to tell how you are walking or how quickly you are typing. Source: 7 News

But the machine would not be able to explain why.

“I could have had a very busy day at work, I could be extremely tired and that’s going to adjust how fast I type,” Dr William Raffe – from University of Technology, Sydney – said.

There are also privacy and safety concerns associated with the development of such an app.

Most of the time calling a registered Uber to your exact location is safer than wandering the streets looking for a ride home.

Dr Raffe said there may be ethical implications to developing such an app. Source: 7 News

But in the wrong hands, vulnerable customers could be at risk of predatory behaviour.

“If this is not managed properly, there are opportunities for drivers to purposefully select passengers who are intoxicated,” Dr Raffe said.

There are fears rogue Uber drivers could use the app to take physical or financial advantage of drunk customers.

“The ethical questions are not fleshed out,” Dr Raffe said.