A nova actualização da aplicação da Uber no iPhone retirou a opção de partilhar a localização apenas enquanto se usa a app.
As opções agora são partilhar “Sempre” (ou seja, mesmo quando a app se encontra em segundo plano) ou “Nunca” partilhar (e assim o utilizador tem de introduzir a sua localização manualmente). Antes desta actualização, o utilizador podia escolher outra opção, a de partilhar a localização apenas enquanto se usa app.
A Uber informou que só guarda a localização do utilizador até 5 minutos depois da viagem.
No entanto, a Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), que não deixa passar este tipo de coisas despercebidas, já pediu à Uber para voltar a disponibilizar essa terceira opção em nome da privacidade dos seus clientes.
An Uber spokeswoman told BuzzFeed News that by offering the option of manually entering pick-up locations, the company is giving users a choice to be tracked or not. But Opsahl says this “takes away a lot of the usability.” Part of Uber’s appeal is how easy it is to open the app and let GPS pinpoint your location for a driver.
“As you’re trying to get picked up by the side of the road, you might not know what address you’re at,” Opsahl said. “I guess you could turn it on and off again…but that’s pretty clunky as well.”
Opsahl said EFF’s conversation with Uber is still ongoing, but he hopes “Uber sees that looking out for the customers first and considering their privacy needs and preferences is a better way to be a good company.” Earlier this year, the EFF praised Uber for “taking steps to facilitate transparency and user privacy” in an annual review comparing how companies respond to government requests for user information.
An Uber spokeswoman told BuzzFeed News that tracking users for five minutes after their rides end would provide data that could improve the pickup and drop-off experience. Do people get dropped off on the opposite side of the street from their destinations and have to cross through traffic after exiting the car? Can people be given better directions to faster pickup locations to speed up an UberPool ride? The company also says that knowing where exactly riders are when they exit cars could also help customer service representatives investigate complaints or safety issues.
Privacy Advocates Want Uber To Stop Tracking Users After Rides End [Priya Anand, BuzzFeed News]