If you have an Android phone, Uber’s new privacy policy will spook you.

Ridesharing giant Uber has just revised its privacy policy to track riders’ locations even when the app is not being used, and to send promotional discounts to friends and family members.

Just a week after roping in Apple’s former privacy counsel Sabrina Ross to join Uber’s growing legal team, the taxi-hailing app today released its new privacy policy which explains in detail all the data Uber collects from its customers, the purpose for such collection, the extent to which it is made available to third parties; and how consumers can control the use of data relating to them.The car booking company now more clearly tells its customers it can pretty much track everything they do while using the Uber app, after facing criticism over privacy, especially its use of a tool called God View enabling the company to know where its riders were at any given moment.

However in a recent post on Uber’s blog, the company has announced that they will be making some privacy changes and that the app will now have the ability to track your location even when it is running in the background. In a blog post announcing the changes, which are slated to take effect on July 15, Katherine Tassi, Uber’s managing counsel of data privacy, explained that the changes were prompted by the findings of an external review released earlier this… While iOS users can later disable the contact syncing option by changing the contacts settings on your mobile device, The Android platform, which is used by a majority of Indians, does not provide any such a setting yet. But the law firm concluded that Uber didn’t need to improve how it handled sensitive rider information within the company, a central concern of critics, Harriet Pearson, a partner at Hogan Lovells in Washington, said in an interview. If this sounds a bit spammy, we have to agree with you but thankfully Uber is allowing this feature to be an opt-in, meaning that users will have the choice of whether or not they want to share said data with the company.

It is available in 23 languages, covering most of the languages spoken in the 57 countries where Uber operates. “We collect information you provide directly to us, such as when you create or modify your account, request on-demand services, contact customer support, or otherwise communicate with us. Customers can find the policy on the app and the company’s website. “This is written in a way to protect themselves from liability,” said Lorrie Faith Cranor, director of the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “This is a company that collects and uses a lot of data.” The new US policy is 3 000 words shorter than the previous version, but it expands the amount of data that Uber can collect about passengers. As is standard with privacy policies, it outlines what Uber is allowed to do, while offering few promises from the company about how it will safeguard user data. And Uber has a bit of a shaky reputation, given talk of the company smearing journalists that criticize it, tracking users by name with God View, and its CEO Travis Kalanick’s notoriously ruthless strategy.

Emil Michael, a Uber executive, told a reporter the ride-hailing company had considered hiring researchers to dig into the lives of unfriendly journalists. “Uber began implementing the recommendations from Hogan Lovells immediately after we received them,” Kristin Carvell, a company spokeswoman, wrote in an email. “For example, we have continued to reinforce access controls, doubled the size of our privacy team, formalised our data-protection training for employees and made our privacy policies easier to understand.” Uber also is making it easier for riders to see the rating the drivers give them within Uber’s application, one of the suggestions from Hogan Lovells. Drivers knowing when you tell a little white lie that “I’m on my way outside” when you’re actually still stationary inside your building might make things awkward.

Initially, Uber tells me it plans to use precise location data from your GPS to pre-fetch info on where the closest cars are to you, rather than it taking a few seconds to load based on where your pin is set. Transaction Information: Transaction details including the type of service requested, date and time the service was provided, amount charged, distance traveled, and other related transaction details. 4. Usage and Preference Information: Uber collects information about how you and site visitors interact with our Services, preferences expressed, and settings chosen. 5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles.

Log Information: Information like device IP address, access dates and times, app features or pages viewed, app crashes and other system activity, type of browser, and the third-party site or service you were using before interacting with Uber can also be tapped into. That could save you from wandering around in traffic trying to find them,having to walk a half-block frantically waving at your driver, or getting cancelled on because you couldn’t find them quickly enough. Consumer data will be shared not only with Uber subsidiaries and affiliated entities that provide services or conduct data processing on its behalf, but also with vendors, consultants, marketing partners, as well as law enforcement officials, government authorities, or other third parties if Uber believes the riders actions are inconsistent with its policies and terms of service. Even if people haven’t requested rides yet, Uber could know that a bunch of its users are clustered at a location, like a concert, and divert more cars to wait nearby for when everyone floods out.

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