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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
Uber Still Tracks You Even When Your Ride is Done
December 7, 2016
More and more people are using Uber instead of taxis, although I don't understand the attraction. Surge pricing, independent contractor status, background check accuracy, GPS tracking and insurance liability coverage are just some of the concerns I have with the Uber business model. Apparently, there are other privacy concerns that most users are not aware of. Uber has changed the app's location tracking permissions (one of those terms of service items you never read). Instead of just tracking your location while you have the app open and active, it now tracks your location in the background as well.
Uber claims that they track your location 5 minutes before and after the ride to better predict where to pick you up and drop you off in the future. In the words of Sherman T. Potter, "Horse Hockey!" According to BGR, "…Uber could track you indefinitely, as long as the app is in the background. Of course, the company claims it's not doing that, and as TechCrunch reports, the only way Uber could enable its five minute tracking buffer was to ask for full background location tracking permissions upfront, but at this point you're essentially taking the company's word for it that it's not tracking you beyond the time it says it will."
I think Sherman Potter had it right.