Taxi-hailing giant Uber will roll back an update it deployed a couple of months ago where the app is set to collect user location data after conclusion of a trip. Uber, through its chief security officer Joe Sullivan, has stated this new development will revert to the app’s initial permissions where users will share location data only when it is in use. Users on iOS will be served first as those on Android wait for the update at a later date.
When the creepy feature went live some time in November 2016, a fair share of Uber users questioned the company’s intent in forcing them to either be tracked or opt out, which differed from the usual arrangement in sharing location information only when the app was in session.
In Uber’s defense, the company insisted that it only tracked users for about five minutes after the end of a ride, and only did so for safety reasons such as enhancing the processes involved in hailing and exiting an Uber. However, it seems that users have taken the feature in bad light, which explains its reversal.
Uber has been on a rocky boat for the better part of 2017 with an avalanche of scandals such as a lax HR departments, sexual harassment cases, management issues that saw its former CEO Travis Kalanick step down and a bunch of lawsuits, including one where one of Uber’s stakeholders, Benchmark Capital sued Travis for fraud. Travis responded by citing that Benchmark’s allegations are motivated by opportunism during his lowest moments.
Travis has since been replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi who has a huge task in bringing the company back to its scandal-less, righteous glory.
Preceding these privacy updates were driver-friendly features that we highlighted here.