Uber is launching a pilot program which is going to hide the exact pick and drop off locations within the trip history displayed to the drivers and instead display a wider location area. Currently and in the past, drivers got a list of locations where the customer had been picked up and dropped off once they accepted their request. Unfortunately, the data also does not get erased if the rider shuts down their account.
These addresses are stored within the driver’s trip history and that would mean they could theoretically scroll through the app at any time and check where the passengers live or which places they go to a lot. If the driver had criminal intent, it would not take much to inflict serious harm, hence the move to restrict access.
Need for Compliance to International Regulations
A spokesperson from the company stated location data is the most sensitive information they have and the company is doing everything to protect privacy concerning it. Apparently, the new design is meant to give sufficient information to the drivers so they can identify previous trips for customer support problems or earning problems without allowing access to the addresses of the riders. The pilot program would allegedly also help Uber when it comes to complying with the new Data Protection Regulation set in place by the European Union.
This would need companies to delete user data and give the users access to what they have about them. It has not yet been rolled out though it will be available soon. According to Uber, they would like to make sure the platform successfully meets the objectives set forth by the European Union regulations for privacy. The also reiterated they intend on making this part of the default settings despite the design tweaks.
Uber Finally Going the Accountability Route
Considering the less than stellar performance when it comes to sexual harassment and assault, this is one of those things that Uber should have prioritized eons ago. Women have complained for years concerning unsettling experiences with drivers who used the phone numbers and addresses given through the app to stalk and harass them. These are some of the things that led to the recent overhaul of management which sent Kalanick packing. In any case, it is good that it is being addressed at the present even if going through the whole design alteration seems to be a lot of work.
When the new feature becomes public, it is going to strike a better compromise between allowing the clients to delete their information while still giving the drivers just enough access to their information.
It would seem that Uber is presently attempting to balance rider comfort with the protection of the driver. The driver after all, is not given access to the user information until after they have accepted the request. It ties into a system of accountability which is beneficial for all parties involved. A spokesperson from the company claimed the new design would give the driver’s enough information to identify past trips for customer support problems or earning disputes without giving them ongoing access to the addresses of the customers.