Uber removes app's feature that tracks passengers after trip

Uber is expected to roll out the app update this week on iOS devices.

uber app update
Uber to roll out update to its app this week. Reuters

Uber has removed a feature from its app that allows tracking of passengers ever after a trip. This comes after the ride-hailing company's commitment to push privacy.

Uber is expected to roll out an update this week for its app on iOS devices. The update will arrive without the tracking feature on board.

In the wake of the leadership transition at Uber, the company is finally axing the much-criticised feature of the app. Uber's chief security officer Joe Sullivan tells Reuters the company is trying to redeem itself from its bad reputation when it comes to customer privacy.

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Coming with the update is the ability of the app to track only the riders' location while using the app. After the initial release to Uber apps on iOS, Android phones shall follow.

Amid the noise created by Expedia chief executive Dara Khosroshahi's imminent assumption of Travis Kalanick's position in the company, Sullivan stresses it has nothing to do with the location-tracking update.

Since 2015, Sullivan and his team have been working to improve the customer privacy at Uber.

"We've been building through the turmoil and challenges because we already had our mandate", says Sullivan.

In November 2016, the company removed the option to restrict data gathering to only when the app is used, forcing riders to either let Uber mine its location data or never ride at all. In defence, Uber said before that they are trying to look at the rider's safety for five minutes after alighting from their cars.

This article was first published on August 29, 2017