*Uber tracks your location even after your ride has ended

By Declan Dunn, TechViews.org …..

Uber, the ride sharing service, is now tracking you even when your ride is over. The company claims that by doing so it is better able to serve it’s customers.

If you have updated the company’s smartphone app recently, be sure to read the updated user agreement and it’s app-permissions you have agreed to allow. By agreeing to use the Uber phone app, you are agreeing to allow your phone to be tracked by Uber for ‘at least’ five minutes after the arrival at your destination.

This will happen regardless if the app remains open or has been closed. The term, ‘at least’ implies a minimum amount of time, and could indicate you are actually being tracked for a longer period of time. The user agreement doesn’t specify.

The key here is to deny the app permission to track your phone. When you start the app a notification box will pop up and ask you, “Allow ‘Uber’ to access your location even when you are not using the app?” If you don’t check the box to allow it, Uber won’t track you. Here’s what Uber said in a statement:

“We’re always thinking about ways we can improve the rider experience from sharpening our ETA estimates to identifying the best pick up location on any given street. Location is at the heart of the Uber experience, and we’re asking riders to provide us with more information to achieve these goals.”

According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), “this collection of user’s information far exceeds what customers expect from the transportation service. It is not necessary to collect location information when customers are not actively using the app.”

 This resulted in a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission. However, according to EPIC, “the FTC failed to act, and Uber is now tracking users non-stop.”

However, if you have already granted tracking permission to Uber, here is how to shut it off:

  • ANDROID: Settings → Apps → Uber → scroll to “Permission” → toggle “Location.”
  • ANDROID LOLLIPOP (5.1) and earlier: Settings → Location → toggle Off.
  • iOS : Settings → Privacy → Location Services → Uber → choose “Never.”

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