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Over the past few years, Uber has been on a seemingly unstoppable march to change the way millions of people move about their cities. The platform has been praised for its simplicity and convenience, but has also found itself wrapped up in high-profile legal challenges, from being forced to shut down in Austin to setting off a debate over tipping. (If you don’t have an Uber account you can receive a free ride up to $20 by signing up with this link.)
Uber’s chief economic officer Keith Chen revealed to NPR’s Shankar Vedantam of the Hidden Brain podcast that its research shows people are more likely to accept surge pricing if their phone is low on battery. It’s likely that Uber receives this information when the app enters reserve power mode on a user’s phone. Uber maintains that it will not use this data to impose surge pricing on its customers, however, the company has misused consumer data in the past and people remain skeptical as to whether the rideshare company will honor this promise to its customers.
Has Uber’s data collection gone too far?
H/T: View from the Wing
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