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Uber is set to stop tracking riders after they have reached their destinations. This is the latest in a long line of changes Uber is making in order to improve its terrible reputation. And this one means riders will only need to share their location when actually using the Uber app. Which is fair.

Uber Tracks Riders

In December 2016, Uber updated its mobile apps. And one of the changes it made affected how it collected location data from riders. Previously, Uber would only collect location data when riders had the app open, but users were suddenly faced with a choice between “Always” and “Never”.

“Always” meant that Uber could collect data whenever it wanted. In reality the company wanted to collect data for five minutes after a ride had ended Uber Can Now Track Your Location At All Times Uber Can Now Track Your Location At All Times Uber now has the capacity to track riders even after they have completed their journey. Which should worry anyone who cares about their privacy and security. Read More . “Never” was still an option, but it meant riders had to manually input a destination, severely limiting the usefulness of the Uber app.

Uber Changes Course

Now, according to Reuters, Uber is reversing this controversial policy. The company will revert to only collecting location data when riders have the app open, and not for as long as it sees fit. The change will roll out to iOS users this week, with Android following suit in the coming weeks.

To be fair, Uber claims “it never actually began post-trip tracking for iPhone users and suspended it for Android users”. The company also claims the desire to track riders’ locations after they reached their destinations was designed to improve the safety and security of its valued customers.

Uber Is Improving

Uber is clearly trying to do the right thing here. This feature was heavily criticized by privacy advocates for being a step too far, and so Uber has canned it. However, the company may reintroduce it in the future, but let individual users opt-in rather than forcing them to opt-out Uber Tracks You After Each Journey, But You Can Stop It Uber Tracks You After Each Journey, But You Can Stop It Uber tracks you in the background so it knows where you are, but it still tracks you even after your ride is over. Here's how to prevent that. Read More .

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Do you regularly use Uber to get from A to B? What do you think of the company? Do you care about the behind-the-scenes shenanigans? Or will you carry on using Uber despite everything? Are you pleased to see Uber backtracking on location sharing? The comments are open below.

Image Credit: Allen via Flickr

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  1. dragonmouth
    August 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    "And this one means riders will only need to share their location when actually using the Uber app. Which is fair."
    Why is it fair?! Regular taxis do not track riders at all. Neither do buses and trains, both intra and intercity. I can understand collecting general data on all riders in order to schedule and assign the drivers more efficiently. But of what practical use to Uber is data on each specific rider by name, rank and serial number? Other than to sell it, I mean.

    Uber tracking its riders is a perfect example of a private company's unwarranted intrusion into citizens' privacy. Just because companies have the ability to track private citizens, does not mean they should be allowed to. Companies are convinced that it is their Constitutionally guaranteed right to collect any and all data they can on customers.