Privacy Group Asking FTC To Investigate Uber’s Tracking Of Customers

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Posted 2 years ago

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Uber Looks To Acquire Nokia’s Digital Mapping Service HereA privacy group has raised concerns about the on-demand car service Uber and their method of tracking customers, and have taken them to the government.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C. has lodged a complaint against Uber Technologies with the Federal Trade Commission over Uber’s upcoming privacy policy that is set to go into effect on July 15th.

The new policy looks to obtain passengers’ information, specifically access to their address book and location, when the app runs in the background.

Uber states that users can opt out of this policy on their smartphones, but EPIC has noted two flaws to that in their complaint.

The first concern lies in the fact that iOS users can opt out more of the contact syncing more easily than Android users; there apparently is no setting to do so on the Android platform.

The second issue is the claim that even if the syncing is turned off, Uber can still obtain location info from the IP addresses of the phones.

For its part, Uber has expressed that the complaint was needless, and has added that the new policy will include more transparency.

This is not the first time that Uber has dealt with issues of infringing on customer privacy —  Senator Al Franken of Minnesota has also asked for an investigation into their practices, and their tracking of “rides of glory” which involve customers getting rides on weekend nights in a 4 to 6 hour span.

Christopher A. Smith

HR

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