MoviePass is dropping a controversial location tracking feature after the firm’s boss claimed it was stalking subscribers after they left the theatre.
In the release notes for an updated iOS app the company says it has disabled an new version of the iOS app “unused app location capability.”
The update follows alarming comments from CEO Mitch Lowe last week during an industry event in Los Angeles.
“We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards,” he reportedly said, sparking complaints from its user base.
Shortly thereafter, the company which offers unlimited cinema visits at screens around the US for a monthly fee, released a statement.
It attempted to explain how such a feature would be used to help subscribers plan an entire evening around their movie night, seemingly suggesting it would serve up dinner recommendations and such.
It said it was “exploring utilising 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. We will not be selling the data that we gather.”
Fast forward to today and the updated app. Whether today’s tweak refers specifically to that ‘unused’ functionality Lowe was seemingly bragging about last week remains to be seen.
The company is still planning to use location tracking for some more essential elements of the app, such as showing users the theatres in their current location, while it still has designs on future implementation of location-based features.
In comments to Engadget, which noticed the update, Moviepass said: “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 movie-going experience for our members, we aren’t using some of that functionality today.”
It reiterates users will have the ability to choose the location settings that are right for them.
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