As per a new Reuters report, ride hailing service Uber will be rolling back a controversial feature which allowed it to track its users up to 5 minutes after they finished their rides. The feature was viewed as a risk to customer privacy, but Uber had justified it as an essential feature for the physical safety of its riders and improved recognition of pick-up and drop-off points.
The change will restore the ability to share location with the Uber app only while using it. The same was revoked when the Uber app started prompting users to share their location even when they weren’t using the app or not share location at all. Uber has now gone back to it’s original location sharing permissions and users will once again have a choice not to share their location with the ride hailing app if they so wish.
The new location sharing update will first start rolling out to iPhone users starting this week, while the update for Android users will follow soon.
Uber Technologies Inc just got a new CEO after former boss Travis Kalanick was forced to step aside due to multiple workplace harassment allegations. The company is now headed by Former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. However, the new move towards securing customer privacy does not stem from the change of guard at Uber and this was confirmed to Reuters by Joe Sullivan, Uber’s chief security officer.
“We’ve been building through the turmoil and challenges because we already had our mandate,” Sullivan told the publication. He also added that Uber had ““a lack of expertise” in this area earlier and the company is strengthening its commitment to customer privacy.
It has been two weeks since Uber settled a U.S. Federal Trade Commission complaint alleging that the company had failed to protect the privacy of its users and drivers. After the complaint, Uber agreed to adopt a comprehensive privacy programme to ensure customer data is protected.