Über’s new policy overhauls its collection practices, allowing the company to collect more detailed information on users and their contacts and to approximate customer locations based on nearby networks, even if they’ve opted out from location sharing.
- Access your contacts, and send communications to them in connection with your use of certain features, such as referrals, invites, split fare requests, or ETA sharing;
- Allow third parties to send you solicitations that Über thinks will be of interest to you;
- Share your trip and location data with third parties, including your employer;
- Provide details about your account and travel history to law enforcement officials, government authorities, or other third parties, if Über believes your actions are inconsistent with their user agreements, terms of service, or policies.
So what can/should you do about it? Well, I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t use Über. I would, however, caution you from planning to commit any sort of crime before or after taking an Über trip. And here are a few, perhaps, less obvious tips:
- Some of the contact and location data collected by Über requires you to specifically grant permission(s) in the app. On iOS, if you change your mind later, you can disable those permissions by changing the settings on your iPhone (if you use an Android device you’re outta luck).
- You can opt out of receiving promotional messages using the in-app and online account settings, or following the instructions in any messages you receive.
- You could choose to cancel your account, which requires that you send an email to email@example.com.
- After that, you could try creating a dummy account, using an alias, a fictitious address, and even a Google Voice phone number, however, although you may be able to protect some of your data from disclosure, the app has access to and transmits all of the identifying data that is unique to your mobile device; so if someone wants to connect the trip data to you, they will ultimately be able to do that.
- Speak out! Tell Über you want them to stop unfair data collection practices. You can contact Über’s legal department at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Über Technologies, Inc., Attn: Legal, 1455 Market Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94103; or send a tweet to Über CEO Travis Kalanick (@travisk).