MoviePass has been under fire frecently after CEO Mitch Lowe revealed the MoviePass app has been tracking user to and from the theater. The exchange happened at the Entertainment Finance Forum, but the response was swift: users were not happy, and MoviePass has acquiesced by removing the tracking in the latest update for the app.
To provide more context, here is a part of Lowe’s comments that drew criticism on how the MoviePass tracks users: “We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards.” He also nonchalantly stated, “We know all about you.”
In an age where privacy is important, this didn’t sit will with MoviePass users and the backlash ensued immediately.
MoviePass responded to the backlash stating the location tracking was all meant “to help enhance the overall experience” of watching movies at the theater and it was not selling the data it gathered. The statement did little to curb the backlash, and so MoviePass followed that up with action by removing some app location capabilities from the app.
In a statement made to Engadget, MoviePass elaborated on the update for the app and its location tracking.
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. Our members will always have the option to choose the location-based services that are right for them today and in the future.
If you might remember, Uber got into hot water for similarly tracking users well after they had ended a trip. It too had to remove the feature to curb backlash.