Uber is aiming to end tracking riders for 5 minutes after their trip ends as they try to repair their privacy reputation. The company has been criticized by users and privacy advocates when they announced last year that they would collect location data from riders through the app from the time of the trip requested through 5 minutes after it ended. Their claim was to improve pickups, drop offs, ensure safety, and better customer service.
Those who don’t want to be tracked after their ride was finished can opt out by turning off the app’s location services but that would lead to manually entering a pickup location. The company asked all app users for permission to collect post trip location data but only collected those with Android devices and not from iPhones and other iOS phones. Now, the app’s settings allow users to choose between “never” allowing location information to be collected and “always” allowing information to be collected anytime the app is still running even if its in the background not fully closed. The “always” option will soon change to stop collecting data once a trip ends or is cancelled.
Users will able to allow Uber to collect data only while the app is in use on iOS devices in the coming weeks. Whenever the company wants to access any location data while the app is still running, customers will receive a notice and can decide on whether or not to share the information. The new privacy option for devices using the Android operating system will also be available soon.