Uber App Not Only Monitors Your Location, But Your Battery Too… WTF?

Earlier this week, I reported on the fact that the Uber app is actively monitoring your location, even when the Uber app is not in use. That’s not good. But it may have gotten worse as Uber is apparently checking your battery status too. Paul Dehaye of PersonalData.io made a request under European law for data Uber collected about him and tripped over this little fact. He then published what he found on  GitHub which you can see here. Most of the info that Uber collects is stuff that is either standard stuff that a lot of apps collect. But collecting the battery status is a new one on me.

Now Uber is apparently using this as a means to build a profile of the user to fight fraud. Lucasz Olejnik who is a security expert notes this in a blog post. Here’s the problem with that. They use the Battery API W3C specification to do this. And  Chrome, Firefox and WebKit are moving to deprecate the API in question because it’s kind of invasive as it could uniquely identify you and according to Olejnik in his blog post, it is something that could be spoofed which would make it kind of useless as an anti-fraud technique. So that begs the question: Could Uber be using this for other reasons?  Olejnik suspects it’s possible that Uber is using battery status as an input to its pricing model. I would suggest that they’re trying to grab anything and everything it can so Uber can data mine its users to death. Either way, I don’t get the warm fuzzies from this, and neither should its users. I would strongly suggest to Uber that it needs to start explaining its data collection policies and why they need that data if for no other reason than to clear the air.

 

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2 Responses to “Uber App Not Only Monitors Your Location, But Your Battery Too… WTF?”

  1. […] today.  At least not towards Uber. You might recall that it came to light that among other things Uber’s app was tracking your location all the time. But Uber has a really good explanation for […]

  2. […] customer data looking for info on celebrities and ex-partners, but it also came to light that the Uber app tracks you long after you’ve used their service. Something that they tried and failed to explain away. Hopefully this shines a light on this […]

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