Uber is planning to tweak the historic pick-up and drop-off logs that drivers can see with a purpose to barely obscure the precise location, fairly than planting a precise pin in it (as now). The concept is to offer a modicum extra privacy for customers whereas nonetheless offering drivers with what look set to be stay extremely detailed journey logs.
The firm informed Gizmodo it is going to initially pilot the change with drivers, however intends the privacy-focused function to grow to be the default setting “in the coming months”.
Earlier this month Uber additionally introduced a complete redesign of the drivers’ app — making adjustments it stated had been knowledgeable by “months” of driver conversations and suggestions. It says the pilot of location obfuscation will start as soon as all drivers have the brand new app.
The ride-hailing big seems to be looking for a compromise between rider security considerations — there have been stories of Uber drivers stalking riders, for instance — and drivers eager to have exact logs to allow them to problem fare disputes.
“Location knowledge is our most delicate data, and we’re doing every thing we are able to do to guard privateness round it,” a spokesperson informed us. “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.”
In the present model of the pilot — in response to screenshots obtained by Gizmodo — the situation of the pin has been expanded right into a circle, so it’s indicating a shaded space a number of meters round a pick-up or drop-off location.
According to Uber the design should still change, as is claimed it intends to assemble driver suggestions. We’ve requested if it’s additionally intending to assemble rider suggestions on the design.
Asked whether or not it’s making the change as a part of an FTC settlement last year — which adopted an investigation into knowledge mishandling, privateness and safety complaints relationship again to 2014 and 2015 — an Uber spokesman informed us: “Not specifically, but user expectations are shifting and we are working to build privacy into the DNA of our products.”
Earlier this month the corporate agreed to a revised settlement with the FTC, together with agreeing that it might be topic to civil penalties if it fails to inform the FTC of future privateness breaches — doubtless in gentle of the 2016 knowledge breach affecting 57 million riders and drivers which the corporate concealed until 2017.
An incoming replace to European privateness guidelines (known as GDPR) — which beefs up fines for violations and applies extraterritorially (together with, for instance, if an EU citizen is utilizing the Uber app on a visit to the U.S.) — additionally tightens the screw on knowledge safety, giving people expanded rights to manage their private data held by an organization.
A exact location log would doubtless be thought-about private knowledge that Uber must present to any customers requesting their data underneath GDPR, for instance.
Although it’s much less clear whether or not the comparatively small quantity of obfuscation it’s toying with right here can be sufficient to make sure the situation logs are not judged as riders’ private knowledge underneath the regulation.
Last yr the corporate additionally ended a controversial function by which its app had tracked the situation of customers even after their trip had ended.