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Uber Says App Doesn't Keep Track of Location; iOS Maps Extension to Blame (ndtv.com) 38

Uber recently landed itself in hot water after a report claimed that its app was tracking the location of passengers even when they had not used the service for weeks. The company has responded to the accusations. From a report: The company has come up with an explanation and says that the location-tracking is enabled for some users due to a new iOS setting. Uber stresses that it's not its app that's doing this -- but an iOS feature. John Gruber of DaringFireball in a recent post had claimed how Uber was tracking user location and it could be easily checked via Settings > Privacy > Location Services on an iOS device. The setting showed how an app was tracking the location in three options: "Always", "While using the app", and "Never." However, several users shared screenshots of the Settings page that showed Uber location tracking as set to "Always" despite not having used the app in nearly a week. An Uber spokesperson in a statement said this behaviour was attributable to use of the new iOS Maps extension, "For people who choose to integrate ride-sharing apps with iOS Maps, location data must be shared in order for you to request a ride inside the Maps app. Map extensions are disabled by default and you can choose to turn them on in your iOS settings."
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Uber Says App Doesn't Keep Track of Location; iOS Maps Extension to Blame

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  • It's their wives who switched that feature on.

  • What's the excuse for it on Android devices?
  • by Flytrap ( 939609 ) on Monday December 26, 2016 @11:48AM (#53555893)

    "For people who choose to integrate ride sharing apps with iOS Maps, location data must be shared in order for you to request a ride inside the Maps app..."

    I wonder if all the other apps that use the Apple Maps integration, such as Lyft, OpenTable, and Yelp, also exhibit the same behaviour of changing the location tracking setting from "While using the app" to "Always"? Furthermore, if Siri integration can pass the location information to the ride hailing app just in time as it is invoked, why can't Maps integration accomplish the same feat? Finally, while I understand why Apple Maps would need location tracking to be set to be "Always" to accomplish some of its magic, why isn't this being reported as such... instead of misreporting it as being the app using Apple Maps integration that has its location tracking setting to "Always"

  • by RubberDogBone ( 851604 ) on Monday December 26, 2016 @06:27PM (#53557623)

    Whatever may be going on with the passenger app, the driver app certainly does track even when the driver is set to "offline" status i.e. not doing Uber work at that time.

    They also track various things like braking and acceleration when the app is online but not actively carrying a fare. They like sending reminders when they feel your driving hasn't been smooth enough. I drive an SUV which is otherwise qualified for Uber. It happens to have truck-like handling which they interpret as harshness. Well yes. It's a truck-based SUV. If you didn't want that, why let me sign up to drive?

    BTW, it is very hard to make money as an Uber driver. The company is on-boarding around a hundred drivers a day in my area so the competition for fares is intense. And at the same time, Uber is pushing Pool rides and UberEats fares, neither of which pay much.

    With the money they lose every quarter, they are artificially subsidizing the costs they charge riders and businesses and probably padding what they pay drivers, which is already minimal anyway. So this company is poised to collapse entirely when the money runs out, and it will. Uber is already dead. They just don't know it yet.

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