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This article was published on April 23, 2018

Uber to hide dropoff locations so sketchy drivers don’t know where you live

Uber to hide dropoff locations so sketchy drivers don’t know where you live
Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

In a small change which could improve the peace of mind of its passengers, Uber will now obscure the exact pick-up and drop-off locations in its drivers’ records.

What it is: After this feature goes live, drivers will no longer have a record of precisely where they picked you up and dropped you off. Instead the app will show them the general vicinity of each location.

According to Gizmodo, this feature will roll out around the same time as Uber’s new driver app is out for everyone, which should be within the next few weeks.

The details: Uber’s making the change in order to comply with the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation. While the drivers will still need something for their records — something to show they did, indeed pick up a passenger in Area X and drop them off in Area Y at specific times — they’ll no longer retain your exact records.

Why it matters: While participating in a rideshare does mean you have to place enough implicit trust in a person to get into a car with them and let them drive you places, it doesn’t necessarily mean you want them to have a record of your location. This is particularly true if the one of the places in question is your home or work.

On the one occasion I Ubered alone, I had the driver drop me off at a location down the street and pretended to linger on the sidewalk with a phone call while he drove off. It wasn’t that I had anything against that person in particular — I just preferred that someone with whom I exchanged two sentences and made fleeting eye contact with in a rearview mirror not know my Airbnb’s location.

It’s not a catch-all solution. It doesn’t prevent a driver from remembering your locations. Still, it’s a step towards giving wary passengers some sense of safety.

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