Uber No Longer Tracks User Location After A Trip Ends

No More Unnecessary User Tracking From Uber

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After taking heat from Apple, and even a bit of attention from Tim Cook himself, Uber has removed a controversial feature in their app that would track user location after their ride had finished.

According to a report, Uber would originally track user location for up to five minutes after a ride ended. This additional user tracking was said to be a move to ensure customer safety, but there was never any mention of this in the terms or on the app store listing. The app wouldn’t perform any other privacy-breaching, such as SMS tracking, but Uber was clearly overstepping their boundaries and wasn’t disclosing why.

Apple originally asked Uber to remove the feature from their app, but after Uber disagreed to do so, Apple CEO Tim Cook stepped up to give Uber a stern warning. Cook mentioned that if Uber didn’t remove the feature, which went against Apple’s terms of service, they would remove the Uber app from the Apple app store.

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Tim Cook was also frustrated at Uber for including a feature in their app that would disable the location tracking features whilst the app was being used from within Apple’s headquarters. This was seen as a clear move to try to hide their privacy-breaching activity from Apple.

This tactic is known as geo-fencing, and Apple only discovered it after an engineer used the app outside of Apple’s headquarters and noticed that the app didn’t track user location the same way it did before. It was this movement by Uber that was the final straw for Apple.

Unfortunately, there has been no mention on whether the same feature would be removed from the Android app store or not. For now, it seems that the change will only apply to the Apple version. Hopefully, we’ll have more information on the Android version in the future.

Uber has been under heavy fire since it came into the spotlight. This most recent privacy scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. Before that, reports of sexual harassment from within the company were leaked to media outlets. Susan Fowler, a previous Uber engineer mentioned her horrific experience working at Uber, saying that it was a  “very, very strange year.”

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Before that, CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, was seen arguing with a hard working Uber driver at the fees put down upon the pay Uber drivers took home after their day’s work.

Uber’s investors haven’t been happy with Kalanick’s poor management skills, either, and the company has since been looking for a new CEO. Recently, it was revealed that ex-Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi would take over from Kalanick.

Chairman of Expedia, Barry Diller, mentioned; “As you probably know, Dara Khosrowshahi has been asked to lead Uber. Nothing has been yet finalized, but having extensively discussed this with Dara I believe it is his intention to accept.”

Hopefully, with Khosrowshahi taking charge, the way Uber operates may change for the better. Khosrowshahi may not be the perfect person for a silicon valley CEO role, but he has had extensive experience working with teams and turning businesses into profitable public companies.

Kalanick will still remain as part of Uber when Khosrowshahi takes over, but he’ll be taking a position with less directive control.

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