Uber is removing a controversial feature on its ride-sharing app that allowed the company to track the location of riders for five minutes after they were dropped off at their destination, according to Reuters.
Uber’s chief security officer Joe Sullivan confirmed the change to Reuters today ahead of a public announcement slated for this week.
Although it was widely criticized by privacy advocates, monitoring the whereabouts of an Uber user post-trip is one feature many riders might not have even known about. Last year, an app update took away a user’s ability to limit when Uber is gathering data, offering two choices: always or never.
Uber claimed the feature never went live for iPhone users and was pulled completely off Android-running phones. Sullivan told Reuters the company made a mistake by asking users to give up more personal information without making clear what value Uber would offer in return.
With the announcement, users can have confidence that the app will now only monitor a rider’s location while actively using the app and location data will be fully disabled once a trip is completed.
The ride-sharing company has committed to improving its privacy and security on the heels of settling a federal lawsuit.
Two weeks ago, Uber agreed to 20 years of audits for misleading users on its privacy and security practices. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission launched a complaint against Uber after the company failed to protect the personal information of its riders and drivers.
In 2014, it was revealed that Uber employees could track user location during Uber rides through an internal monitoring tool. In addition, failing to adequately protect their data, hackers were able to steal the personal data of over 100,000 drivers.
Yesterday, Uber chose Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as their new chief after months of speculation and company infighting. Sullivan told Reuters that the removal of location-tracking is unrelated to the announcement of a new CEO.