MoviePass CEO Admits He Was 'Completely Inaccurate', iOS App 'Has Never Tracked' Users in Background

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Last week, movie subscription service MoviePass received negative press when CEO Mitch Lowe mentioned that the company watches "how you drive from home to the movies" and notices "where you go afterwards" using location tracking in the background on iOS. This week, through customer support emails and in an interview with Variety, MoviePass and Lowe are apologizing over this "mischaracterization" of how the service locates its members and are trying to clear things up once and for all.

    In a letter that began hitting subscriber inboxes yesterday, Lowe admitted the need to "eliminate any misconceptions" that MoviePass is collecting location related data when it shouldn't be. He explained that the MoviePass app uses "standard" location services capabilities on an opt-in basis, and specified that there are only two events that would prompt MoviePass to identify your location: when you perform a search for nearby theaters and when you check into a theater.

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    Otherwise, Lowe stated that Moviepass does not follow you before or after you watch a movie, or at any time that the app is not open.
    Last week, following Lowe's comments, the company removed the background tracking capabilities from the iOS app. In the letter, the CEO said that MoviePass "does not use and has never used this feature."

    Lowe echoed these sentiments in an interview with Variety, explaining that prior to the update, MoviePass used Apple's three standard privacy tracking options: "Never," "While Using the App," and "Always" -- the option that was removed. In regards to the "Always" tracking capability, Lowe said that because the company never used it, "it was confusing to have it there." Lowe mentioned that MoviePass lost just "half a dozen" customers over the newly raised privacy concerns.
    While MoviePass has confirmed it isn't tracking subscribers in the background and when the app is closed, the service is still built around collecting and sharing user data with exhibitors and studios. MoviePass ensures that this data has been "completely anonymized," so that "there's never any personal information" shared with its partners. MoviePass monetizes this data sharing process and is the main way the service intends to stay afloat and make money going forward.

    Lowe also mentioned the company's vision for its future, where MoviePass wants to be the center of "this whole night at the movies" idea, giving users recommendations for events after watching a movie. Of course, following the privacy concerns of the last few weeks, Lowe reiterated that, "When we do that, if we do that, we'll send a request to each customer to let them opt in or opt out."

    Article Link: MoviePass CEO Admits He Was 'Completely Inaccurate', iOS App 'Has Never Tracked' Users in Background
     
  2. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 68040

    OldSchoolMacGuy

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    #2
    Suuuuuuuuure. Sorry but you're not getting that trust back.

    He was confident in his original statement and then made subsequent statements that they'd love to gather even more data. When those blew up in his face, now suddenly he says his statements weren't correct? No one will believe that.
     
  3. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

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    #3
    The article says this "Last week, following Lowe's comments, the company removed the background tracking capabilities from the iOS app. In the letter, the CEO said that MoviePass "does not use and has never used this feature."

    So, if they removed said tracking last week, how can the CEO claim that he was "completely inaccurate"?? Looks like the CEO is contradicting himself or his PR team...
     
  4. acctman macrumors 65816

    acctman

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  5. now i see it macrumors 68000

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    Wow. Every time one of these apps gets called out for shady/sneaky tracking, (UBER et al) the company then backpedals and huffs & puffs & starts apologizing for misunderstandings. Misunderstandings my ass. The location tracking feature of the iPhone is just too tempting for the nefarious.
     
  6. tkukoc macrumors 65816

    tkukoc

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    #6
    lol Shady company, ran by someone who's completely clueless.. yeah I'm all in on trusting them to do the right thing. Not a chance.
     
  7. JosephAW macrumors 68000

    JosephAW

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    #7
    He's right... google analytics in the app has been tracking you.
     
  8. KGB7 macrumors 6502a

    KGB7

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  9. UndefinedxJoker macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Unless the location services for the app are set to “Always” how else would it be able to track you after you exited the app?

    Still a stupid comment by the CEO who is obviously misinformed.
     
  10. kmm1482 macrumors newbie

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    #10
    How is this idiot allowed to run a company?!
     
  11. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

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    #11
    Mr. Big Mouth CEO keeps talking and causing more damage.

    If they don’t gather any information, how in the world do they make money?
     
  12. happygodavid macrumors member

    happygodavid

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    #12


    Watch this interview. It’s an interesting explanation of their business model, and Mitch explains what they are actually doing with data. It’s not nefarious.

    MP is the best investment I’ve made for entertainment in years, and I have no problem with how they track data. If you’re concerned, just turn location services to only share your location while using the app. Easy. And you get to watch a TON of movies. :)
     
  13. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor

    earthTOmitchel

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    #13
    I love SJU! Yeah, this is a super interesting interview and totally worth watching if you're on the fence about MoviePass. He doesn't ever appear apprehensive to respond to any of the questions they ask.

    Now I just need to go watch a movie because I haven't even used my card yet in march :confused:
     
  14. Sasparilla macrumors 6502a

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  15. happygodavid macrumors member

    happygodavid

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    #15
    I know; I’m about as averse to corporate speak as anyone, and I actually liked this guy. Seems authentic, and I love that he doesn’t dodge questions or put a spin on them.

    Get on it! Use that MoviePass! ;)
     
  16. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor

    earthTOmitchel

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    #16
    I'll definitely be going a few times this weekend, but idk even with MP I was hesitant on A Wrinkle in Time and The Strangers.
     
  17. lec0rsaire macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Compares customer’s data to oil. Laughs about getting rich. Customers react. What the hell did I just do?!?!
     
  18. nsayer macrumors 6502a

    nsayer

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    #18
    I'd probably sign up for this if there were any movies in theaters that were worth watching.

    Get off my lawn.
     
  19. btrach144 macrumors 65816

    btrach144

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    #19
    You shouldn't be CEO when you have no idea how your company works. I'll never use MoviePass anymore.
     
  20. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Looks like his legal counsel finally was able to get ahold of him LoL.
     
  21. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

    Jimmy James

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    #21
    We track you more than you want or know....

    ...Er, no we don't.
     
  22. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #22
    I don't think there is enough toilet paper available for the CEO to cover his butt, due to all the verbal diarrhea. Credibility is shot.

    No soup for you.
    Next!
     
  23. Andronicus macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    So they track you if you give them permission in settings, right? Just like any other app? Am I missing something?

    I’ve never used mp before, but I am intrigued.
     
  24. happygodavid macrumors member

    happygodavid

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    #24
    Ya know, that’s the beauty of MP, tho. I’ve seen several movies that were meh, but I don’t feel like I wasted money. I’ve actually stopped looking at Rotten Tomatoes, too. Going in with no expectations has completely changed my theater-going experience.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 13, 2018 ---
    Yes, only if you give them permission in settings.

    And as for being intrigued... it’s amazing. I’ve told all my friends about MP, and the ones who have gotten it love it. Totally worth it if you go see a few movies a year (but would go more if it wasn’t so darn expensive). I’ve seen more than 20 movies in the last two months. FOR $20.
     
  25. M.PaulCezanne macrumors 6502a

    M.PaulCezanne

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    #25
    A backtracking flip-flopping post-truth performance of Trumpian proportions.
     

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