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Your Uber driver could soon know exactly where you are

Uber set out upcoming changes to its privacy policy this week, looking to make its terms and conditions more straightforward and introducing some new permissions at the same time. Notably, the mobile Uber apps will soon have the ability to track a user’s specific location in real-time, even if the app is running in the background.

Up until now, an Uber driver would head for a pin dropped by a user when a ride was required — for anyone who doesn’t like the new location-tracking feature and switches the permission off, this is how it will continue to work. It’s a simple solution, but human and map errors do occasionally mean drivers missing riders.

Related: Uber unveils plans for plush new San Francisco headquarters

For those who do grant the Uber app permission to track location in the background, it means you could walk a couple of blocks down the street or around the corner and still get picked up. It should save any confusion about where exactly you’re waiting for a ride. The tracking will work even if you open another app while you wait.

Given Uber’s previously patchy history with user data collection, however, some might be reluctant to hand even more information over to the firm. Like many other choices we make in today’s high-tech world, it’s a question of balancing privacy with convenience.

Ultimately the change will make life more convenient for Uber users, and may even save them some money if cabs have to spend less time circling around the neighborhood to find a customer. Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping an eye on privacy policy updates — whether from Uber or anyone else — and the proposed new terms are here.

Other changes cover contacts data: If you agree to let Uber see who your friends and family are, you’ll be able to ping them directly with special Uber discounts and offers (like the referral program already in place).

Via SlashGear