Uber are killing a feature which allows them to track users after rides have ended
So apparently Uber was able to track your movements for up to five minutes after a ride has ended? This is news to me, shame on me for not reading the terms and conditions properly. I guess they can squeeze in anything they want. Sign away your rights to X, Y or Z and then find out they added in another provision you don't get to consent to.
The problem is that companies set up such massive lose-lose scenarios for customers that you almost have to sell your rights away. For example, you have the choice of letting Google have all your personal information, or you can refuse to use Google and reject civilization like the Unabomber. What consent! What options!
In the debate over government and corporate ownership of industry, corporations too often get a free pass. Market forces, as it turns out, have more coercive force than we realize. And it won't turn out well for us if we're constantly behind.
In November, the Uber app gave users a choice: allow Uber to track your information for up to five minutes after leaving your ride, or enter all address information manually. Here, sloth wins. Why enter in your data when Uber can automatically find out? Thirty seconds of ease is worth our privacy. We're really doomed, aren't we?
I never even remember agreeing to this on my Uber app. Like all pop-ups within the app, you kind of ignore it or press OK if you're in a hurry. You never quite understand what it is you agreed to. Enveloped in the Google cloud, there isn't much choice to avoid the most coercive of these choices.
Uber's justification for the tracking? They said it would give them more accurate ETA times and location mapping. Sure. And Bush passed the Patriot Act just to keep you safe, and we should let Google censor the internet because it will make life harder for some Nazis. No ulterior motives, we swear.
Uber has said they had a "lack of expertise" in privacy, and so at long-last they have repealed their move and no longer perform tracking. At least, that we know of. See that's the thing. If they wanted to, they could still track you anyway, without your consent. Is it illegal? Try suing Uber, see who wins. That is, if you can even find out that you're being tracked.
Uber has always been a bit creepy. They have a protect-the-company-first approach to sexual assault and all problems with its drivers, which has led to a lot of backlash. How soon will they fire all their drivers once automated vehicles become realistic?
Seriously, it's a permanent end to all human liability. Fire the drivers, plant a brain in the car, and no more lawsuits for ignoring sexual assaults or hiring unstable people. It's a company's dream. Maybe they'll just do it.
In the meantime, they can track whatever they like about our locations, habits and patterns using the Uber app. Let's just hope they're benevolent, right? Haha. Yeah, we'll go with that.