Uber recently updated to collect user location data in the background. Basically, the app can now see your location five minutes after your trip ends, even if you're not actively using it. There's a way to get around it, though.
Photo by kaybee07
After updating the app, Uber will now prompt you to accept their new policy. Here's their take on the matter:
Uber collects your location data from the time of trip request through five minutes after the trip ends, including when the app is in the background.
We do this to improve pickups, drop-offs, customer service, and to enhance safety. Trip Related Location Data is collected during the following times:
- When you are interacting with the Uber app and the app is foregrounded and visible.
- When you're on a trip: from the time you request a trip until when the trip is ended or cancelled by the driver, even if the Uber app is running in the background and not visible to you.
- Up to five minutes after the driver ends a trip, even if the Uber app is in the background.
If this worries you, you're not alone. Having previously filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission, the Electronic Privacy Information Center says "The FTC failed to act and Uber is now tracking users non-stop."
Uber does, however, explain how to turn this feature off:
- On Android: Settings → Apps → Uber → scroll to "Permission" → toggle "Location"
- On Android Lollipop (5.1) and earlier: Settings → Location → toggle Off
- On iOS: Settings → Privacy → Location Services → Uber → choose "Never"
You can read their updated data collection agreement here, then head to the post below for more information on the change.