Last fall, Uber launched some controversial privacy settings that might have put in jeopardy drivers’ right to privacy. The company used to allow its platform track random riders for five minutes. However, this routine screening happened after drivers ended serving a client. In a bid to mend the reputation of its brand, Uber announced the annulment of this surveillance feature.
Uber Explained the Extra Surveillance Feature as Source of Valuable Data to Improve Service
On Tuesday, ride-hailing startup Uber announced some beneficial changes for the privacy of its riders. The company received numerous criticisms from both privacy advocates and users when it introduced several setting adjustments last year.
One of them indicated that the company would register data through its app. The starting point would be the moment the driver picks customers up. However, the end of transmission would be five minutes after the trip ended. The company justified this change as a measure to improve customer service, drop-offs, pickups, and safety.
Drivers who didn’t agree with these terms did have the choice to turn the extra surveillance feature off. However, they needed to perform several additional steps for their pickups. They could enter their pickup location manually and shut down location services.
Uber Will Start Asking Drivers If They Allow the Company to Collect Their Location Data from Time to Time
Nonetheless, spokeswoman Melanie Ensign announced that Uber is going to reverse this policy and enable new flexible driver benefits. She claimed that the company ‘paused’ collecting post-trip location data. Therefore, from now on platform users are going to receive on-screen notifications whenever Uber intends to access location data. On top of that, users can choose whether to allow Uber to perform data collection or not.
The new policy claims that the company needs to gain access to such information in order to be able to avert fraud. Nonetheless, riders should have ‘While Using’ setting on to gain better control over the fate of their data. On top of that, the new feature works only for iPhones while the team is working to enable it on Android gadgets as well.
Image source: DepositPhotos