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MoviePass Stops Secretly Tracking Users

During his keynote address at the Entertainment Finance Forum earlier this month, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe mentioned some things about the app — which is on track to have 5 million subscribers by the end of 2018 — that, uh, didn’t seem quite right. “We get an enormous amount of information,” Lowe said. “We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards.” This seemed weird, given that MoviePass’s privacy policy said nothing about such location tracking: “MoviePass requires access to your location when selecting a theater. This is a single request for your location coordinates (longitude, latitude, and radius) and will only be used as a means to develop, improve and personalize the service.” On Wednesday, MoviePass announced that it released an updated version of its iOS app. This one won’t be able to track your location before and after you go to your movie.

The new app “removed unused app location capability,” according to the update notes in the Apple App Store. MoviePass also offered a statement about its location-tracking policies, though it was weirdly lacking in any sort of sentence apologizing for quietly tracking users without their consent for months. “Today, MoviePass released a new app update, including the removal of some unused app location capabilities. While part of our vision includes using location-based marketing to enhance the moviegoing experience for our members, we aren’t using some of that functionality today,” the statement said. “Our members will always have the option to choose the location-based services that are right for them today and in the future.” Feels a little hard to believe that those capabilities truly were unused, given that the company’s CEO was prattling on about watching users’ movements in great detail.

MoviePass Stops Secretly Tracking Users