A non-profit privacy rights group wants the FTC to investigate Uber’s new privacy policies, which include detailed information about customers’ locations while not using the app, and access to their contact lists.
1. Location Information:
“When you use the Services for transportation or delivery, we collect precise location data about the trip from the Uber app used by the Driver. If you permit the Uber app to access location services through the permission system used by your mobile operating system (“platform”), we may also collect the precise location of your device when the app is running in the foreground or background. We may also derive your approximate location from your IP address.”
Uber also has an internal feature, “God View,” which is a way to access where Uber Drivers are, as well as locations of the passengers who request a pickup. “God View” has been abused by Uber employees – general manager of Uber New York, Josh Mohrer, tracked BuzzFeed journalist Johana Bhuiyan without her permission last year.
2. Contacts Information:
“If you permit the Uber app to access the address book on your device through the permission system used by your mobile platform, we may access and store names and contact information from your address book to facilitate social interactions through our Services and for other purposes described in this Statement or at the time of consent or collection.”
3. Important Information About Platform Permissions:
Most mobile platforms (iOS, Android, etc.) have defined certain types of device data that apps cannot access without your consent, and these platforms have different permission systems for obtaining your consent.
The iOS platform will alert you the first time the Uber app wants permission to access certain types of data and will let you consent (or not consent) to that request.
Android devices will notify you of the permissions that the Uber app seeks before you first use the app, and your use of the app constitutes your consent.
According to Fortune, an Uber spokesperson (by email) said, “We have always disclosed our collection of location information – it is core to our product (we are a location-based service)…EPIC’s allegations about IP tracking are misleading; we receive IP addresses as part of the traffic data that all apps receive.”