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Uber is axing one of its creepiest features in the name of privacy

August 29th, 2017 at 2:59 PM
uber privacy

Despite all the horribly negative things that have sullied the Uber brand over the past couple of years, the company remains standing today, and now it’s got a brand new CEO to help drag it back from the ledge. But if Uber really wants a shot at long-term, sustained success, it”ll have to stop stepping on its own toes and get smart about user privacy. To that end, the ride hailing company is reportedly axing its app’s ability to track your movements in the moments after your trip has concluded.

The feature, which was added late last year, uses background tracking to detect where you’re headed after you leave your Uber ride. The company claimed that it was a convenience feature, and that by knowing your movements both immediately before and after you’re in an Uber vehicle, the company can more accurately provide instructions for its drivers.

The only way to disable the background tracking was to yank all location permissions from the Uber app. Given how much of Uber’s appeal relies on the app knowing where to send a driver without you having to manually type out an address, that was a pretty tough pill to swallow.

Uber hasn’t had a terribly stellar track record when it comes to privacy, having been slammed by the FTC privacy failures that resulted in the personal information of 100,000 of its very own drives being leaked. This new tracking change isn’t a huge shift for the company, but it could be a sign that Uber is finally ready to take itself seriously.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today,, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.

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