The latest update to the Uber app, the ride-sharing service, allows the company to track users’ locations before and after they enter the vehicle.
Before, the company only gathered location data while a customer had the app open, according to TechCrunch.
Uber can now apparently decipher users’ locations while the app is running on the background of their phones. But the ride-hailing startup asserts that it will only collect such data right before a ride request (while the app is open) and after the consumer is dropped off at the destination. (RELATED: New Massachusetts Tax Takes Money From Uber To Fund Failing Taxi Companies)
“We do this to improve pickups, drop-offs, customer service, and to enhance safety,” Uber’s official help page reads.
Uber says it needs just a bit more information to help reduce the lag that occurs when a rider makes an initial request. The tech company also hopes to solve the somewhat common mix-up of where the proper pick-up spot is. (The app does not always automatically offer the most accurate pick-up location).
As for customer safety, monitoring whether a rider has to cross a street after drop-off could help the company prevent hazards. The company doesn’t want users to feel forced to run through traffic.
“We’re always thinking about ways we can improve the rider experience from sharpening our ETA estimates to identifying the best pick up location on any given street. Location is at the heart of the Uber experience, and we’re asking riders to provide us with more information to achieve these goals,” a company spokesperson said, according to TechCrunch.
Users can go on their devices and opt-out of the location tracking by following directions provided on the help page.
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