On Friday, Uber addressed the ongoing concerns over the fact that their app continues to track a user even after their trip has ended. The company wanted to reassure their customers that they are in no danger. Also, that what causes the misbehavior is an update for the iOS, not the app itself.
Tracking after drop-off
People first started worrying about their safety when Uber announced that their app will keep on tracking a customer after drop-off. Also, after the user has closed the app on their phone. At the time, they said that this measure was necessary in order to improve their service. However, that would not have been a big problem had it not become increasingly bigger. In recent weeks, users have reported that the Uber app continues to track them. This happens sometimes for entire days after people have used the app.
Now, it seems like Uber wanted to clear any concern. They explained that this unusual behavior is due to the fact that the new iOS update has a new Maps extension too. This is what actually causes the app to keep on tracking customers. It is normal for users to begin worrying about their personal data, given the fact that Uber had some trouble in this direction in the past. One time, they poorly handled private data and reports surfaced that the app was spying on the trips of the reporters. Also, there was that report according to which some employees used the app’s tracking service in order to stalk celebrities or former partners. So, the customers are right to worry.
Not the app, but the iOS update
Upon investigating the issue, Uber announced that the behavior problem is due to the new iOS update. This explains why only some people reported the issue, those with iPhones. A spokesperson from Uber sent an official statement in which they explained the situation. According to them, if you have an iPhone and wish to integrate the ride sharing apps with the Maps extension, you must know that it will share your location. This is done in order to allow you to ask for a ride from inside the Maps app. However, even if Apple only recently introduced the Maps extension, they deactivated it by default in the phone’s settings. So, users can opt to turn it on or off whenever they like.
This will probably bug many people as they will need to check back periodically to see the status of their Map sharing apps. They not only integrated Uber into the recent extension. They did the same with Lyft, OpenTable and Yelp. However, it is important for Apple to find a way to let users know whether or not it is a specific app that checks their location or just the Map extension. After all, each individual has the right to know if their personal data is being verified or not. This is not something to joke about and most importantly, something to toy with.
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