Uber asks to track your location even when you’re not using the app

Pierluigi Paganini December 05, 2016

The last update for the Uber app raises great concerns because it asks to track users’ location even when they’ve been dropped off and exited the program.

The last update of the Uber App allows it to track the passengers’ locations even when they have been dropped off and the application is running in the background of a customer’s smartphone. With this new feature, the application is able to track passenger up to five minutes after a trip has finished.

uber privacy

Before this upgrade, Uber was able to follow its passengers only when they had the app open.

According to Uber, the new feature has been implemented to better allow drivers and passengers in locating each other. A representative from the company explained that the upgrade will improve the user experience reducing the ETA estimates.

“We do this to improve pickups, drop-offs, customer service, and to enhance safety. Trip Related Location Data is collected during the following times:

– When you are interacting with the Uber app and the app is foregrounded and visible.
– When you’re on a trip: from the time you request a trip until when the trip is ended or cancelled by the driver, even if the Uber app is running in the background and not visible to you.
– Up to five minutes after the driver ends a trip, even if the Uber app is in the background.” reads the statement published by Uber on its website.

Anyway, don’t worry, you still have the ability to choose to share or not your data setting information sharing options to “Always” or “Never.”

Watch out, if you chose the “Never” option, every time your will need to take a ride you will be forced to enter the pick-up and drop-off locations manually.

Obviously, the upgrade has raised heated debate by privacy advocates in the US.

The Electronic Privacy Information Centre promptly filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission for what it considers as “unfair and deceptive trade practice.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Uber app, privacy)

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