MoviePass Tracks Your Location In Ways Not Mentioned In Their Privacy Policy

Let me introduce you to an app called MoviePass. The $9.95 a month service which is driven by an app on your phone allows subscribers to attend one screening per day at participating theaters. It kind of sounds interesting. But you may want to think twice about using it because MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe told an audience at a Hollywood event last Friday that the app tracks moviegoers’ locations before and after each show they watch:

“We know all about you,” he said at the keynote, appropriately titled “Data is the New Oil: How Will MoviePass Monetize It?”

The data collection information elicited some nervous laughs from the industry crowd, many of whom raised their hands to show they were MoviePass subscribers.

“We get an enormous amount of information,” he said, noting the company knows subscribers’ addresses and can glean demographic information based on where they live. The company also can track subs via the app and a phone GPS.

“We watch how you drive from home to the movies,” he said. “We watch where you go afterwards.”

That sort of data fits into a long-term revenue plan.

Here’s the problem with that statement. What this doofus said isn’t in the company’s privacy policy for the app. If you read the section on location tracking, it says that the app discloses only a “single request” when selecting a theater, which will “only be used as a means to develop, improve, and personalize the service.” There’s nothing about tracking you before or after the movie that you decide to see.


Now I wasn’t born yesterday and I am fully aware that apps share all sorts of info about me to a whole bunch of entities. But to not put it in your privacy policy is a great way to become the victim of a backlash from those who would not be thrilled about that. Not to mention that it would likely run afoul of privacy and data security standards like GDPR in the EU or PIPEDA in Canada. But I am a computer nerd, not a lawyer. In any case, I suspect Mr. Lowe is about to figure out that his desire to monetize his business in a less than upfront way is a great way to be put out of business in a hurry when users choose not to use his app.


3 Responses to “MoviePass Tracks Your Location In Ways Not Mentioned In Their Privacy Policy”

  1. […] this week I spoke about MoviePass who were proud of how much they track your movements in ways that aren’t listed in t…. I’m guessing that the blowback was epic because via The Verge, they put out this […]

  2. […] guess that MoviePass bragging about how much money can it can make off of location tracking that they didn’t tell a…, followed by coming out with a lame statement to defend it didn’t work. I say that because […]

  3. […] Let’s contrast that statement with what he said about the MoviePass app a not so long […]

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