Popular taxi app company Uber has reportedly applied for a patent to use new technology to determine how drunk potential passengers may be. The app would take into account information like how accurately they are typing and even the angle they are holding their phone at.
The pending application to the US patent office says the system would spot "uncharacteristic user activity." It's designed with the intent to help drivers who do not want to pick up intoxicated riders. Critics are saying the technology could also be used to identify vulnerable passengers.
In 2014 it was discovered that the company used a software program known as God View to monitor real-time locations of customers and drivers. According to a report from CNN, more than 100 Uber drivers in the US have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers in the past four years, with 31 drivers convicted of crimes including false imprisonment and rape. There was also a data breach that exposed personal data about more than 100,000 of the company's drivers.
Uber addressed concerns in a statement saying, "We are always exploring ways that our technology can help improve the Uber experience for riders and drivers. We file patent applications on many ideas, but not all of them actually become products or features."