MoviePass has issued an update for its iOS app that removes “unused app location capability,” apparently a response to widespread concern after the company’s CEO said: “We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards.”
An earlier statement from the company was “exploring utilizing location-based marketing,” though the data collected was not being sold. A developer TechCrunch contacted said that precise location was being sent regularly while the app was open. (We were not able to verify this independently before the update was issued.)
So combined with CEO Mitch Lowe’s unmistakable remarks at a talk literally entitled “Data is the New Oil: How will MoviePass Monetize It?” it’s hard to believe that this capability was “unused.”
At any rate, the new version appears to address the concerns of privacy advocates. Users can control the permissions of apps individually, of course, but even so it is the developers’ responsibility to inform users what their software is doing, so an informed choice can be made.