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In an effort to better protect user privacy and improve its image, Uber has decided to remove a background GPS tracking feature that allows riders to be tracked for up to five minutes after a ride ends, reports Reuters.

Uber is expected to announce the privacy change starting on Tuesday, with the update expected to roll out to iPhone users this week. The same update will be made to Android devices in the future.

uber-big-brother-800x763.jpg

The feature, which was first introduced in late 2016, has garnered a lot of criticism from Uber users. When location tracking is enabled for the Uber app (and location services is required for the app to properly function) Uber is able to collect location data from the time of a trip request through five minutes after the trip ends, even when the app is in the background.

Uber says it planned to use the extra location data to improve pickups, drop-offs, customer service, and to enhance customer service, but the company claims the post-trip tracking feature was never actually turned on for iPhone users.

In an interview with Reuters, Uber chief security officer Joe Sullivan said the update is unrelated to recent internal turmoil within the company, which saw Uber CEO Travis Kalanick ousted from the company.
"We've been building through the turmoil and challenges because we already had our mandate," said Sullivan, who is a member of the executive leadership team that has been co-running Uber since Kalanick left in June.
Sullivan went on to say that the company should not have asked Uber users for more information without providing details on the value of the feature. Should Uber re-enable the feature in the future, he says the company will let customers opt in and better explain why the feature is useful.

According to Sullivan, Uber is committed to user privacy, but has suffered from a "lack of expertise." Additional changes to improve privacy, security, and transparency at Uber are said to be in the works and coming in future updates.

Article Link: Uber to Pull Feature Allowing Riders to Be Tracked for Five Minutes After a Trip
 
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lostngone

Contributor
Aug 11, 2003
1,419
3,688
Anchorage
Boooo! You try to make it look like you're doing the right thing but the new iOS will give the user the ability to stop this!

With iOS 11 Uber doesn't get to make that decision. The new location services forces this by allowing the user to decide if the App can track your location after you exit the App.
 
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miknos

Suspended
Mar 14, 2008
940
793
BS.

Now stop making +160mb weekly updates to clear bad reviews.

New CEO seems like a good pick.
 
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ILikeAllOS

macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2011
433
588
Tampa Bay
Kinda late now since many people dumped Uber and switched to alternatives like Lyft when this "feature" was first announced.
Still, I guess it's better late than never though...
 
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Sefstah

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2015
589
1,066
If you want us to help better your app by using our location data, then pay us. Actually, you owe us now!
 
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OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,049
Uber trying to act like they care. Just trying to save face. iOS 11 will block prevent them from tracking outside of when the app is open.
 
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Bryan Bowler

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2008
3,873
3,853
I’m so glad Uber got rid of Creepy Travis. Best move they ever made and I’m very pleased with the steps they are taking!
 
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BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,192
4,080
Weeks before iOS 11 forces the change and the location sharing shame bar.

Uber is the worst.
 
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onepoint

macrumors 6502a
Aug 3, 2010
832
489
USA
Wait. They promised and insisted the extended location tracking was absolutely necessary to improve service including pick up/drop off time and location.

Now we are to believe they don’t need it, DIDN'T TURN IT ON (that’s f’ing rich, given the app was definitely using location services more than necessary), and they’re eliminating it for us, the users’ sake.

Please don’t piss on my back and tell me it’s raining, Uber. Just apologize and move on.

Edit: FWIW the last couple of betas have drastically scaled back the blue bar presence for app location usage - I have location set to “always” for Facebook, Google Maps, Google, Uber, etc. and only see the blue bar when I have active navigation occurring
 
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LordQ

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Sep 22, 2012
3,582
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I turned off location services completely for Uber, I can manually select a place on the map or use my favorite places anyway.
 
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Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,475
9,061
San Jose, CA
Kinda late now since many people dumped Uber and switched to alternatives like Lyft when this "feature" was first announced.
Yup. I tried Lyft for the first time when Uber started the tracking. At least here in the San Jose area it works just as well and has now become my default. Uber is trying to improve since Kalanick got the boot, so maybe I'll consider using both in the future.
 
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onepoint

macrumors 6502a
Aug 3, 2010
832
489
USA
Yup. I tried Lyft for the first time when Uber started the tracking. At least here in the San Jose area it works just as well and has now become my default. Uber is trying to improve since Kalanick got the boot, so maybe I'll consider using both in the future.
Don’t count that egotistical piece of trash out yet, he’s still on the board and controls two empty seats
 
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thisisnotmyname

macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
2,389
5,024
known but velocity indeterminate
YES!!! Thank you! Finally!!

edit: of course it was about to become useless in a month with iOS 11 but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they finally listened. I'm happy I'll be able to enable GPS for Uber again and stop typing in pick up addresses.
 
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macTW

Suspended
Oct 17, 2016
1,395
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"Opt in."

I could care less if they track me 24-7, as long as it has an opt out option. I'll always opt out.
 
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