Uber is Now Watching You More Than it Was Before

By Eve Peyser on at

Good news! Uber will be partnering with DigitalWorld to use its satellite imaging technology. As yet, there is no word from Uber on the details of the partnership, but DigitalWorld seems really, really excited about it.

The DigitalWorld press release called Uber “an innovator” and cited the company’s co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick’s TED Talk on the service’s potential to cut pollution and traffic congestion. “Uber”, the satellite imaging company proclaimed, “is revolutionising transportation by making the experience dead simple”.

What does this mean for you? Uber will utilise DigitalWorld’s technology to “leverage DigitalGlobe’s industry leading constellation of sensors to access imagery and location intelligence to help identify and improve pick-up and drop-off locations”. Great. I hate when my pin sends my Uber to wrong location.

But also, now we live with the knowledge that Uber is becoming increasingly aware of everywhere we go with great precision. The company already has an internal feature called God View, which surveils its drivers and customers basically whenever they use the app. After a top executive at the company used that feature to track the location of a BuzzFeed journalist in 2014, Uber changed their policy so that only employees “operations or other areas, like fraud prevention” can play God.

The company is also tracking your driver’s speed, and can even tell when she brakes too hard or accelerates too fast. [The Verge]