Selfie Authentication Terms and FAQs

Ola is strongly committed to user safety. We would like to work with you, the driver community, to help address and prevent fraud and impersonation, and create a safe platform for riders. One of the features Ola has introduced is ‘Selfie Authentication’.

<span”>Under Selfie Authentication, you will be requested to provide a real-time photograph of yourself through the Ola driver mobile application (Driver App), in order to verify that you are indeed registered with Ola, and that your account or device has not been compromised.

In this document, we will help you understand how Selfie Authentication works, how we verify you and your account, and your options for processing and appeal. This document also provides information regarding the personal data we collect from you and how we process it. This is a supplement to our privacy policy, which you may review here. We at Ola are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy and the rights available to you as a data subject. We will only use personal data collected from you for Selfie Authentication to verify your account. The controller of your data for this process is Ola UK. If you have any queries regarding data rights/ requests , you may write to us at or for any other concerns, please call +44 203 9720800.


Why has Ola asked me to click a selfie?

Ola’s Selfie Authentication feature aims to facilitate rider safety by detecting cases of “driver impersonation”. Driver impersonation can happen in one of the following ways:
  1. a registered Ola driver has shared their account details with another person, who has not been registered with Ola.
  2. a third person has hacked into or fraudulently accessed a registered driver’s Ola account or mobile device.
To prevent and detect such cases of impersonation and fraud, Ola, from time-to-time, will request you to take a selfie of yourself and send it to us for verification.

Check out the “Do’s and Don’ts – Tips for Selfie Verification” article from the support section within the Driver App for illustrations of the prompts that you will receive on the Driver App when Ola sends a selfie request.

How often will I be asked to take a selfie?

Ola will normally request one selfie from you each week, on a random day of the week and at a random time of the day. However, the selfie requests will only be triggered when you are “on duty” and will never be triggered whilst you are “in trip” with ola for safety reasons..

In certain cases, we may need to trigger more than one selfie request per week. This would happen for example:
  1. if we get a complaint against you by a rider that a different driver came for pickup.
  2. if you have submitted multiple inconclusive selfies.
  3. if you submit a selfie after 1 hour from the triggered request but before the 3 hour deadline.
  4. if the local licensing council/ law enforcement agency/ government agency mandates it.
  5. if your selfie has been identified as ‘mismatched’ in the last 30 days but you have been on-roaded, post an appeal, by the UK city team.

What do I do if I receive a selfie request?

It is recommended that you submit a selfie as soon as possible. However, aim to do it within 1 hour and ensure that the image uploaded meets the criteria given below. You will have a total of 3 hours before you are temporarily suspended for not uploading a selfie and will need to appeal inorder for the suspension to be revoked. Nevertheless, if you submit a selfie anytime over 1 hour (and less than 3 hours) you will be flagged for increased selfie checks in the next 30 days.

What happens if I do not take a selfie?

If you do not provide us with a selfie, you will not be allowed to take any rides with Ola. We may trigger another selfie request at a later time if you do not submit your selfie within 3 hours of our initial request. Please see the sections on Verification Results and Appeal below for more information.

Until you submit a selfie that is successfully adjudicated, you will not be allocated any further rides. In case you take over an hour (but less than 3 hours) to submit a selfie, you will have the frequency of your checks doubled for 30 days and you may also receive our training material to help you submit selfies faster in future.

In case you take more than 3 hours to submit a selfie, your account will be temporarily suspended and you will need to appeal the decision to be cleared.


How should my selfie look?

Whenever you see a notification/ request for Selfie Authentication, take a live photo of yourself and submit it through the Driver App. Make sure that:
  1. Your car is safely parked before taking a selfie.
  2. There is sufficient light
  3. Your selfie is not blurred
  4. Your face is clearly visible and you are not wearing a headgear, mask or sunglasses.
  5. You are not clicking a picture of a photograph of yourself or of someone else.
  6. There are no multiple faces on the selfie
  7. The selfie you clicked is uploaded correctly.

How does Ola use the selfie that I upload?

Ola will compare your selfie against the current profile photograph on our account. We recommend updating your profile photograph to ensure the best results.

What options do I get for verification?

We provide you with two options for verification:

  1. An automated verification: comparison of your selfie to your current profile picture , which will be sent to an established system that is equipped with third party systems/ combination of internal and third party systems including , our verification software partner. This involves extraction of your facial features and processing your biometric data and we rely on your consent for this processing and you can withdraw your consent at any time.
In case the third party systems/ combination of internal and third party systems cannot confidently verify your identity, your selfie will be passed across for manual verification.

  1. Manual verification: comparison of your selfie to your photograph on file, which will include a review by 2 members of Ola’s verification team. In case the two members are unable to come to the same conclusion or are unable to verify a selfie, a third member will independently look into the selfie before the same is processed. No biometric information will be extracted or processed in the manual verification and we rely on our legitimate interest for this processing.
You are free to choose the option that you prefer. Please see the sections below for more information on automated and manual verification.

How long will it take to verify my account?

Both automated and manual verification will normally take less than 3 minutes.

What happens if I fail verification?

As mentioned above, Selfie Authentication is mandatory. You will hence not be allowed to provide any rides to riders, unless you clear the selfie authentication, whenever the same is triggered.

However, we understand that there could be some technical glitches due to which you might not be able to upload your selfie. We have hence added some retrigger scenarios. Some scenarios where a request for Selfie Authentication is retriggered are –
  1. Mismatch in the photo
  2. Inconclusive selfies including –
    1. Unclear/ hazed/ blurred selfie
    2. Person not present in image
    3. Multiple persons in the image
    4. Driver wearing mask/ helmet due to which the individual is unrecognizable
    5. Selfie mismatch
    6. If the selfie happens to be clicked from a photograph

What does an ‘inconclusive’ result mean?

An ‘inconclusive’ result means that for some reason we cannot decide whether your selfie did or did not match with your current profile picture. In this scenario you will be asked to retake the selfie and submit within a shortened time allowance of 30 mins, along with clear instructions on how to avoid an ‘inconclusive’ verdict again. Please note that too many inconclusive selfies in a certain period of time will result in you being temporarily suspended and require an appeal to get back on road

Can I use the Driver App while Ola verifies my account?

You will be permitted to use the Driver App while we verify you, but you will not receive any bookings until the selfie authentication is successful. To ensure that you are not inconvenienced, we aim to take no longer than 3 minutes to conduct your verification.


How does automated verification work?

If you choose the automated verification, Ola will first use internal automation tools to confirm whether:
  1. Your selfie is taken with appropriate lighting and at a correct angle.
  2. Your face is clearly visible and fully captured in the frame.
  3. If there are any other people or more than one face visible in the frame.
  4. You have submitted a photograph of a pre-existing photograph.
  5. You have any occlusions on your face such as sunglasses, mask or other object that may impact the verification process.Ola performs the above checks to ensure that you have submitted a photo that can be easily verified.
  6. If we are unable to use the selfie for any reason, we will request you to resubmit the photograph. If you consistently provide selfies that do not conform to our requirements, your verification will be marked as failed and you will not be permitted to take any further riders on the Driver App.
After completing the above checks, we will send your selfie and current profile picture to third party systems/ combination of internal and third party systems to compare and provide us with a verification result.

How exactly do the third party systems/ combination of internal and third party systems compare my photographs?

The said third party systems/ combination of internal and third party systems will measure and identify certain unique aspects of your face from your photograph on file and create a map of your face. Facial features that the software will capture usually includes the position and size of your eyes in relation to each other, measurement of your nose bridge, the location of your mouth and chin. This data set is unique to you, similar to a fingerprint.

When you submit your selfie, a set of third party systems/ combination of internal and third party systems will extract another data set of your facial features from the selfie in the same way as described above. The two data sets will then be compared, and the Third party systems/ combination of internal and third party systems will send us a confidence score, which describes the extent to which the facial features in the selfie and the photograph on file are matched. It is important to note that the said third party systems/ combination of internal and third party systems will not use your selfie for facial recognition unless instructed by Ola. The services provided by third party systems/ combination of internal and third party systems in Ola’s Selfie Authentication process will be used only for face comparison, resulting in a confidence score that Ola will receive from the systems. Neither the third party systems/ combination of internal and third party systems nor Ola will use your facial feature data in any other manner.

Is the confidence score adequate to verify my identity?

A high confidence score is adequate to verify you automatically. For example, if your confidence score is more than 70%, it is highly likely that the person in your selfie matches the person in the current profile picture. In such cases, we will therefore consider your verification as successful. However, we do not consider a low confidence score as an automatic failure of your verification. If we get a confidence score lower than acceptable percentage, we will route the selfie for manual verification immediately. We consider it imperative to have a process for human intervention prior to taking any decisions that may impact your use of the Driver App. Please see the section titled Manual Verification below for more information.

Can I get verified through a human verifier instead of using my biometric data?

Ola has evaluated all software that are part of the third party systems/ combination of internal and third party systems and we have conducted detailed risk assessments to ensure that your privacy is protected.

However, if you prefer, you may instead opt for manual verification. Please do note that it is likely that automated verification may be conducted slightly faster than manual verification, although, under normal conditions, neither will take more than 3 minutes of your time. `


How does manual verification work?

If you select manual verification or if your selfie received a low confidence score via automated verification, your selfie will be sent to Ola’s manual verification team.

Two members of the team will independently compare your photo against your current profile image:
  1. If both members confirm your selfie as a match, your verification will be marked as successful.
  2. If both members confirm your selfie as a no match, your verification will be marked as failed.
  3. If one member confirms your selfie as a match and the other member does not, your verification will be marked as “inconclusive”. This will result in an additional selfie request at a later time, to compensate for this inconclusive check.] The members of the verification team are extensively trained for this purpose and are available 24/7 to ensure that your Selfie Authentication is not delayed.

Your selfie is transferred to Ola’s secure servers, operated by cloud service providers. Ola is committed to the standards of protection and security detailed in the GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act, 2018. For further information, you may review our privacy practices here.

How long does Ola keep my selfie?

Your selfies will be retained for a period of 6 months from the date of collection. We may, however, need to retain your selfies for a longer period if any claims arise regarding your account, in relation to impersonation activities on your account, or if law enforcement or other competent authorities request for your information.


What happens if I complete verification successfully?

If we find that your selfie and your current profile picture are a match, you will be able to immediately begin using the Driver App again to book rides.

What happens if I do not complete verification successfully?

If your selfie fails the verification process, or you take more than 3 hours to submit a selfie, you will not be allowed to take rides on the Driver App. However, you will be allowed to appeal the decision through the Driver App. In case you do not appeal the decision within 7 days, your account will be permanently terminated, and we will report your account’s inactive status to the relevant local licensing authority, along with your details.

During the said 7 day window, we will contact you through emails and push notifications advising you of your status and the appeal process required. We will also let you know when your appeal time is about to expire and inform you of the actions we might be forced to take, in case there is no response from you.

My selfie was not verified and I can no longer take rides on the Driver App. What do I do now?

If you failed the selfie verification, you can appeal against the suspension by selecting the “APPEAL THIS” option, which will launch an appeal form. Before submitting your appeal, include as many details as possible. This will assist Ola’s verification team in addressing the appeal.

Will Ola monitor me or my account after reactivation?

Yes, we will monitor your activity for a period of 30 days from the date of reactivation. You may receive more frequent requests for Selfie Authentication within this period.


What are my rights in relation to the processing of my data?

Please refer to “Your Rights” section in Ola’s Privacy Policy which can be accessed here.