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If you really think about it, it takes a great deal of trust and faith to get into a car driven by a complete stranger, yet millions of people hop into Uber cars each day without a second thought. Sure, the app ensures that drivers are vetted somewhat and that there are records stored of each trip, but still – you’re in a car with a complete stranger each time you use Uber. It’s just as dangerous for drivers, too. It’s amazing there aren’t more Uber horror stories. Still, incidents of driver and rider abuses do happen. For that reason, Uber is finally updating its app to obscure the precise locations of pick-ups and drop-offs which it has previously been storing in driver logs.
The new Uber update includes a host of new changes, most of which are related to expanding privacy as it pertains to users’ location data. Currently, driver logs store the precise locations of each of their fares, leaving open the possibility of drivers returning later to stalk or harass passengers. The new update will change the way these locations are stored, making them a general area marked by a large circle as opposed to a precise pinpoint. An Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch that while their app is generally private, location data remains the app’s Achilles’ heel:
Location data is our most sensitive information, and we are doing everything we can do to protect privacy around it. 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.
The new update is currently undergoing a test run, but Uber plans to expand the new policies to all drivers in the next few months. The update will also include a host of interface tweaks to make it more driver-friendly, providing information on which areas offer the best fares and have the most active users.