PARIS: Uber has begun collecting passengers’ location data even after journeys have finished, a move that has raised eyebrows among privacy-conscious users. An update to the app allows Uber to follow users’ GPS signal while it is running in the background. Previously, it would only do so when Uber was open on the phone. Uber said it would only be tracking users from the moment they request a trip until five minutes after the journey had ended. The company said the change would improve the app by allowing for more reliable pick-ups, improving customer service, and enhancing safety. The additional tracking is meant to help prevent fraud, such as when a driver charges passengers extra by marking a journey as finished several minutes after it has actually ended. However, many users voiced their disappointment at what they saw as an intrusion into their privacy. When the Uber app is updated, a message pops up asking users to approve background location gathering.
How to disable it
If you’re worried about apps tracking your location, you can deny individual ones permission to your GPS data. To do this on the iPhone, go to Settings, then Uber, from where you can toggle location access on and off.
On Android, go to Settings, then Apps, then select Uber and adjust Permissions.