Uber Explains Why It Looks Like Its App Is Still Tracking Your Location, Long After Rides End

Great story from Sarah Perez at TechCrunch, following up on my report that some DF readers reported Uber being listed as having checked their location long after they last used the app, even though Uber claims they’re only using the “Always” location privilege for “five minutes after the trip ends”:

However, Uber says the location tracking is not intentional behavior on the part of its app.

Uber investigated the issue today, at our request, and found the issue is related to the iOS Maps extension. This also explains why not everyone was seeing the problem.

Uber’s map extension feature was made available in September, and is based on Apple’s protocol for Map extensions. Other map extensions from Uber competitors would work the same way, then.

According to an Uber spokesperson: “For people who choose to integrate ride sharing apps with iOS Maps, location data must be shared in order for you to request a ride inside the Maps app. Map extensions are disabled by default and you can choose to turn them on in your iOS settings,” they said.

In other words, it’s not a bug, it’s feature. And it’s a feature of iOS.

I think this might explain it. I’m thinking Apple should change this so that these extensions only load when you tap the “Ride” tab in Maps. As it stands now, they load (and check your location) every time you enter the Maps app, period.

Friday, 23 December 2016