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New privacy update lets Uber track your location while it runs in the background

It also wants your phone contacts, and possibly your first-born child.


Aja Romano


Posted on May 30, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 5:19 pm CDT

Uber‘s ongoing campaign to star as the villain in our collective Orwellian nightmare will get a huge boost with its latest update, when it gains the ability to track your location even when it’s running in the background on your phone.

The changes roll out on July 15, according to a recent Uber blog post on its privacy updates. Additionally, Uber will be adding a new setting that requests access to your phone contacts, presumably after slowly infiltrating your social circle and gradually turning everyone you love against you.

Ostensibly, Uber wants access to your contacts list in order to “send special offers to riders’ friends or family.” Truly, we can think of no better way to bring people together than bonding with loved ones over surge pricing.

Users will be able to deny permission for Uber to enable its creepy settings, if they’re aware of them. The purpose of the new privacy setting, according to Uber, is to help “get users on their way more quickly.” Of course, before they can arrive at their destination, riders may have to endure a horrifying lack of security features in regards to their not-so-private information, rampant sexual harassment and rampant sexual assault, drivers carrying guns, drivers carrying hammers, drivers robbing their passengers, ableism, homophobia, fun kidnapping, not-so-fun kidnapping, and outlandish overcharging.

On second thought, maybe Uber should be accessing your frenemies contact list instead.

H/T The Verge | Photo via streamishmc/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0) 

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*First Published: May 30, 2015, 7:22 pm CDT