There is nothing like finding out a company is playing fast and loose with your privacy to get the internet’s knickers in a twist. Uber it turns out has been doing exactly that - so cue furore. In an excellent piece by the New York Times
on Uber (OK - they did go a little over the top with the sensationalism), they highlighted that Uber had been blocking Apple engineers from knowing that they were continuing to track devices even after the app was deleted. That clearly break’s Apple’s rules. Uber of course played it down
and say it was only tracking the device anonymously to stop fraud and it is all fixed now but of course they knew they were breaking Apple’s terms and surprisingly even after Apple knew, they didn’t pull them from the App Store.
Another fall out from the New York Times piece was Unroll.me, which manages your subscription to marketing email messages and requires access to your inbox. Unroll.me was looking at the receipts in your inbox from Lyft (and others of course), and then selling that data anonymously to Uber, allowing them to get a better understanding of demand for Lyft’s services. Deals like that happen all the time, but Unroll.me were not transparent about that. Gizmodo found
it in the terms and conditions in grey text on a light grey background. Oops. Their business model is unlikely to change, but Jan Dawson has a look at the business model Unroll.me uses and potential others available to it