SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The ride-hailing service Uber has announced a change in its privacy policy next month that could theoretically allow the application to track users’ movements at all hours of the day, even if they exit the app.

The privacy rights group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over Uber’s updated privacy policy.

According to the complaint, “This collection of user’s information far exceeds what customers expect from the transportation service. Users would not expect the company to collect location information when customers are not actively using the app, or have turned off their GPS location finder (as Uber can still collect location information through the phones’ IP addresses).”

The revised privacy policy also states that the Uber app could access the users’ contacts “to launch new promotional features that use contacts — for example the ability to send special offers to riders’ friends or family.”

An Uber spokesperson told KPIX 5 the changes were only designed for the company to know where you are faster, and that users can turn the feature can be turned off.

“They have this vast trove of information that is subject to a lot of security issues, subpoenas, who knows who can get their hands on that data,”said Adi Kamdor with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “We should be pushing back against this company collecting…and keeping…this information about where we’re going and where we are at all times.”

Uber also said the company has no plans to track users’ locations 24/7, but privacy advocates fear the company could very well do so at any time.

 

 

 

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