MoviePass CEO walks back creepy location tracking comments

MoviePass CEO walks back creepy location tracking comments

We only locate customers when they use the app...

After Lowe's comments during the panel discussion were made public, MoviePass issued a statement to this news organization echoing Lowe's point.

He confirmed that the app only checks the location of the customers when checking for the nearest participating theatre, and when they check in to the theatre, so the app can verify their credit card.

We understand that you may have further questions, so have included an additional FAQ page for your reference. Even if it's not tracking user's location over an extended period of time yet, that's certainly a possibility for the future, not to mention what's possible when you combine that data with information from other clearinghouses.

When it comes to the location tracking and privacy issues that MoviePass is now facing, we're not really sure if CEO Mitch Lowe was really just mistaken or if the company is trying to backtrack after facing severe criticism. He bragged that his app gathered ridiculous amounts of data from customers and revealed to the crowd, "We get an enormous amount of information, We watch how you drive from home to the movies".

As a result of last week's interview, Lowe stated that about half a dozen people had cancelled their subscription, but it's "not a huge number", especially considering the app has 2 million subscribers and is aiming to reach 5 million by the end of the year.

"We are exploring utilizing location-based marketing as a way to help enhance the overall experience by creating more opportunities for our subscribers to enjoy all the various elements of a good movie night".

Are you a MoviePass subscriber? In our recent update with Apple, we removed the the background tracking capabilities. "At MoviePass, we take customer privacy extremely seriously", Lowe wrote.

Previously the app used a standard iOS API that allowed for three privacy options - never track, always track, or only track while using the app. Lowe says that the "track all the time" capability was never activated.

Still, the company hasn't ruled out future changes about how it collects data. For example, based on your location the app could suggest a restaurant close to the theater and offer coupons or discounts on a meal. We don't know where they go afterwards, we don't record it.

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