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Senator Franken urges Uber to change their privacy policies

(BUSINESS NEWS) Franken wrote a letter to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, urging him to upgrade the company’s privacy policy to better protect users’ location data. Do you agree?

Al Franken official

The fine print

How often do you click “allow” when glancing over the privacy policy from the new app you downloaded? It’s easy ignore the fine print, especially considering most apps have pretty standard conditions. Is this always in your best interest though? Not according to Senator Al Franken. He recently wrote a letter to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, urging him to upgrade the company’s privacy policy to better protect users’ location data.


Always or never

Uber’s new iPhone update has two options when it comes to accessing your location: always or never. Obviously, if you want to make your Uber experience easy, you will choose always. However, this means your location can be tracked even when you are not using the app. According to Uber, collecting this data will improve pick-ups and drop-offs while preventing fraud and increasing safety.

Although their intentions are not to violate your privacy or share this information, Senator Franken believes that it should be up to “American consumers…to decide for themselves the fate of their personal data.”

Franken’s suggestions

Senator Franken has a long history of advocating consumer privacy rights. Though he supports technological advancement, he wants consumers to retain control over how and when their information is shared. Throughout his letter, Senator Franken outlines various changes he recommends for the Uber app.

He urges Uber to revert back to the way they first collected location information.

By allowing Uber to collect this data only when a user is “interacting with the app, on a trip, and up to five minutes after a driver has ended the trip,” users can be assured that their information is protected. The Senator also calls for changes for Uber to clearly state how they use post-trip location data, explain how to disable location tracking, and update how users are informed about changes to the app.

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With these options, Uber can ensure they have their users’ best interests in mind, and lead the way for other apps to follow suit.


Written By

Natalie is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and co-founded an Austin creative magazine called Almost Real Things. When she is not writing, she spends her time making art, teaching painting classes and confusing people. In addition to pursuing a writing career, Natalie plans on getting her MFA to become a Professor of Fine Art.

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