Uber will now collect location information in background

Shaoor Munir Written by Shaoor Munir · 1 min read>

Starting from app version 3.222.4, Uber will now collect location information of users even when the application is in the background. Uber claims this information will be used to improve pick-ups and drop-offs by its drivers.

How Uber currently tracks users?

The way Uber works now is that it only tracks users when they or on a trip. Users can share this information with their friends and family so that they can keep an eye out for them from the web or their Uber mobile apps. This has always been hailed as an impressive security feature which has helped many users find peace of mind while using Uber services.

How will this change with the upcoming update?

With the upcoming update to the application, noticeably version 3.222.4, Uber will ask users to give permissions to gather information about their geolocation in the background. Although this permission will allow Uber to continuously track the users, it claims that it will only record information from the moment an Uber driver picks the rider up to five minutes after the driver drops him or her off.

How will this information be used?

The company will use this information to improve drop-offs and pick-ups, which have consistently been a pain point for Uber and other ride-hailing services. The most common reason for riders and drivers to contact each other is to communicate their location when the app does not provide an accurate pinpoint, and Uber hopes to cut down on confusion during pick-up.

This is not the first time that Uber has expressed interest in tracking information of users in the background. In an update to their privacy policy last year, Uber added a special section specifying collection of information in the background. This step prompted a backlash from several privacy advocates and ultimately Uber backed down from this proposal. It seems that Uber is not giving up. It remains to be seen how those privacy groups and users will react to this change in policy.

Written by Shaoor Munir
I am passionate about technology, hardware and the future of both of them together.Email: Profile