Uber Tracks You After Your Ride is Over, But They’ll Soon Let You Turn That Off

Last Fall Uber rolled out a change that allowed the app to continue to track your location for 5 minutes after your ride with them was over. There was no way to stop this. Either the app had access to your location (which almost everyone gives it) or it doesn’t.

Now they’re going to update the app to offer three options:

  • Location tracking on
  • Location tracking off
  • Location tracking only when Uber is in use

An update to the app made last November eliminated the option for users to limit data gathering to only when the app is in use, instead forcing them to choose between letting Uber always collect location data or never collect it.

Uber said it needed permission to always gather data in order to track riders for five minutes after a trip was completed, which the company believed could help in ensuring customers’ physical safety. The option to never track required riders to manually enter pickup and drop-off addresses.

However the change here “will initially only be available to iPhone users” with an update for Android something “Uber intends..”

If Uber wants me to give up my privacy after a ride they had darned well offer a big signup bonus for their new credit card.

(HT: Alan H.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Gary,

    Instead of a sign up bonus, why don’t you just not use Uber if you don’t like it? No one is forcing you in this.

    PS. Thanks for the non-actionable, what future may being news story.

  2. Uber is not doing this because they want to, but because Apple is tightening up privacy controls in iOS 11.

  3. When I last used Uber earlier this month, I discovered that the app doesn’t work at all when you turn the “location” function off on your Android phone. After two days of back-and-forth with Customer Help, I finally figured out what the problem was.

  4. This is not a good idea, it is a great idea. Uber has tremendous liability and credibility at risk if something happens to a customer by a random driver they have approved. So, keep it on and tell Apple the “what for”.

    As for end users privacy, don’t count on it as long as you’re carrying a cell phone. Between all the malware, scamware, and realware with terms and conditions agreed to at installation, you are being tracked more than you know. Keep location tracking off unless you are using it.

  5. “There was no way to stop this”

    Of course there was. I’m sorry, but only an idiot lets ANY app have access to Location Services “all the time”.

    If I want Uber to pick me up at my current location, I turn on their Location Services access long enough to get the car, then turn them back off. If you don’t, you’re killing your battery, to say nothing about the privacy issues

  6. We fret about Uber, while google tracks every restaurant, store, and hotel as long as your android phone is on 🙁

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