New Uber Driver App on Android Phone


Uber will soon obscure rider pickup, drop-off locations

It's a move to enhance rider safety and privacy.


Christina Bonnington


Published Apr 24, 2018   Updated May 21, 2021, 5:36 pm CDT

Uber is making changes to its drivers-side app in order to increase passenger privacy and safety. One step it’s taking is to hide hailers’ exact ride history. In a pilot program rolling out soon, Uber will start blurring the exact pickup and drop-off locations of passengers.

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To date, drivers have access to riders’ exact pickup and drop-off locations in their trip history—including exact addresses. That information is then stored driver’s side in their trip history. Going forward, however, Uber will obscure that information, sharing only a general location area of pickups and drop-offs instead.

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Right now, the app shows a dot of the precise location where someone was dropped off or picked up. That screen is being updated to instead show a larger red circle of the general vicinity of that interaction, Gizmodo reports.

“Location data is our most sensitive information, and we are doing everything we can do to protect privacy around it,” an Uber spokesperson told Gizmodo. “The new design provides enough information for drivers to identify past trips for customer support issues or earning disputes without granting them ongoing access to rider addresses.”

Uber has come under fire in the past for a variety of privacy and security-related accusations. This includes Uber employees stalking exes and celebrities, sexual harassment allegations, reports of male drivers harassing female riders, and reports of male riders harassing female drivers. The address change in the upcoming version of the Uber app is intended to help alleviate some of these issues—particularly those related to stalking passengers.

The update also addresses issues in violation of the E.U.’s General Data Protection Regulation, a set of privacy laws that go into effect May 25. Under GDPR, tech companies need to ensure that users fully understand what data is being collected about them and give users the option to delete or correct that information. It’s also spurred a number of updates from other apps, such as Facebook.

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This upcoming change to Uber’s driver app follows a redesigned app that launched earlier this month. It provides a number of other useful updates and streamlined interfaces for drivers, as well.

H/T Gizmodo

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*First Published: Apr 24, 2018, 2:51 pm CDT