At its very core, Uber is a location based service, but following the app’s most recent update -- which asks users to collect their location data even when they’re not hailing a ride -- many are seeing an unnecessary violation of privacy.
Uber’s update, initiated last month, includes a sharp divergence from the company’s original policy of only tracking driver location as to better streamline estimated wait times. Now, Uber is asking users permission to track their whereabouts for five minutes after the app has been deactivated, and isn’t making it easy for customers to say no to the policy.
At the moment, the issue primarily affects Apple users: As The Verge notes, iOS customers are typically queried whether they’d like an app to track their location, and are given the options of “Always,” “Never,” or “While Using the App,” based on their personal preference. With the aid of Apple, Uber simply eliminated the “While Using the App” option, effectively giving the app stronger ability to monitor one’s location, or rendering its geo-location capabilities basically useless.