Uber's Going to Stop Tracking Users After Their Trip Ends

By Tom Pritchard on at

Did you know the Uber app tracks you for up to five minutes after your journey ends? Well you do now, but fortunately you can save your outrage because Reuters is reporting that the company will be putting a stop to that particular controversy.

The actual announcement is expected to happen later today, with Joe Sullivan, Uber's security chief, telling Reuters that the change will roll out to iPhone users sometime this week. The change will ensure that users are only sharing their location data while the app is in use, and not after they've left the car and gone to do whatever it is they need to do.

The initial change happened last November, removing the option for users to limit the amount of location data the Uber app could collect. Instead they were forced to let it collect data all the time, or never. The company claimed that the extra five minutes of tracking was to ensure customers' physical safety. Refusing to send any location data apparently didn't make the app completely useless, though, but it does require users to manually enter the pick-up and drop-off addresses manually.

The five minute tracking might come back in future, though Sullivan says it'll likely be an opt-in feature with clear details on how it benefits passengers. Apparently the company is committed to privacy, but "lacked expertise" in that area in the past. Hmm.

These changes are one part of a series of privacy focused updates that will be rolling out over the next year, and while the location tracking change is initially rolling out to iOS Uber will bring it to Android  at some point. Unfortunately it didn't detail when that would be. [Reuters]

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