The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C.-based public interest research group, filed the complaint Monday with the Federal Trade Commission.
WEB EXTRA: Read The Complaint
Uber’s revised policy, scheduled to go into effect July 15, will allow the company’s app to collect the precise location of the user’s mobile device even if the app is running in the background.
That has some privacy advocates fearing the company could potentially abuse the data.
“This collection of user’s information far exceeds what customers expect from the transportation service,” the complaint by EPIC reads. “Users would not expect the company to collect location information when customers are not actively using the app, or have turned off their GPS location finder (as Uber can still collect location information through the phones’ IP addresses).”
Uber’s new policy also states that its app could access a user’s contacts “to launch new promotional features that use contacts — for example the ability to send special offers to riders’ friends or family.”
The complaint asks the FTC to investigate Uber’s business practices and to stop the company from collecting unnecessary location data.
An Uber spokesperson told CBS affiliate KPIX-TV in San Francisco that the changes were only designed for the company to determine where customers are faster and that users can turn off the feature.
The company also says it has no intention of tracking app users around the clock.
Uber has become a major player in New York City, with its cars now outnumbering yellow cabs.