Uber to Use Cell Phone Data to Monitor Drivers
Put on your tin-foil hats and mutter about how you don’t trust the corporations, everyone, because Uber, the ride-hailing app, is considering using your smartphone’s gyrometer and GPS data to make sure you aren’t driving like a maniac.
Basically, Uber said that it would do this as a sort of filter for the passengers’ and drivers’ ratings of one another. If the rider complains on the app that the driver was slamming on the brakes and peeling out at every red light, Uber would investigate the data gathered from the driver’s phone to see if there were any sudden stops and starts, and if so, send the driver a message about their driving.
Of course that isn’t all Uber would do with that data. This data is also to be used as a sort of policing action, since the phone’s data would be able to tell Uber if the driver was speeding a lot compared to other drivers. If that driver gets a lot of negative ratings, maybe Uber sends them a message or fires them entirely.
There are two arguments at the extremes of the reactions to this news. The first is that this is a bad thing, since this could be seen as a company exerting control over its employees’ actions in a manner that smacks of Big Brother looking over your shoulder. The other was summed up by TechCrunch.com’s Lucas Matney: “Speeding is serious stuff, and it’s important that Uber keeps their drivers in check even if they are independent contractors and the company isn’t paying their speeding tickets.”
News Source: TechCrunch.com