If you thought the fact that Uber can already track your rides and routes wasn’t already creepy, well things are about to get worse – but it’s for your benefit. While admittedly a lot of the surveillance that Uber does is for your safety and to ensure the trustworthiness of their system, this new update is a little creepy.
The Washington Post has revealed a report that was confirmed by the company itself that Uber is planning to launch a feature where it will audio record rides to ensure both driver and passenger safety. The idea behind this update comes after many complaints of abuse by either drivers or passengers and is seen a as way for Uber to more proactively combat this, though at the same time will easily be seen by many as a massive invasion of privacy and one which is no doubt bound to cause a variety of privacy issues.
Thankfully though, it won’t be Uber listening in on your conversations (at least that’s what they claim) and rather recordings will be saved on your device (though you will need to authorise the app to access your microphone) and only sent through to the company should you request it, which will allow them to obviously investigate it further or forward to the necessary authorities. Neither the driver or passenger though will be able to listen to these recordings though. These recordings will also only be stored for a period before they are automatically deleted and will require users to have space available on their device as well.
According to Reuters the feature has been trialled in Mexico and Brazil and will be making its way to the US soon. There are no plans to take it elsewhere just yet, especially Europe which takes privacy on these matters seriously. Hopefully, it won’t make its way our shores either though undoubtedly it could be a market that needs it. I admire Uber’s willingness to ensure the safety of its users, but I don’t feel comfortable have recordings of conversations which I can’t access.
Last Updated: November 21, 2019