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Uber Is Now Watching You More Than It Was Before

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Good news! Uber will be partnering with DigitalGlobe to use its satellite imaging technology. As yet, there is no word from Uber on the details of the partnership, but DigitalGlobe seems really, really excited about it.

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The DigitalGlobe press release called Uber “an innovator” and cited the company’s co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick’s TED Talk on the service’s potential to cut pollution and traffic congestion. “Uber,” the satellite imaging company proclaimed, “is revolutionizing transportation by making the experience dead simple.”

What does this mean for you? Uber will utilize DigitalGlobe’s technology to “leverage DigitalGlobe’s industry leading constellation of sensors to access imagery and location intelligence to help identify and improve pick-up and drop-off locations.” Dope. I hate when my pin sends my Uber to wrong location.

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But also, now we live with the knowledge that Uber is becoming increasingly aware of everywhere we go with great precision. The company already has an internal feature called God View, which surveils its drivers and customers basically whenever they use the app. After a top executive at the company used that feature to track the location of a BuzzFeed journalist in 2014, Uber changed their policy so that only employees “operations or other areas, like fraud prevention” can play God.

The company is also tracking your driver’s speed, and can even tell when she brakes too hard or accelerates too fast.

Now Uber is also watching us all from above. So stay woke, but also, cool.

[The Verge]

*Correction: A previous version of this story identified DigitalGlobe as DigitalWorld.

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Eve Peyser was the night editor at Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

bluetardis
BlueTARDIS

I hate when my pin sends my Uber to wrong location.

Are you placing the pin accurately to begin with or just using the address?You have to double check for address/GPS accuracy. As a driver I’ve seen...

  • Pickups at a baseball game where the passenger entered the stadium address pin is in the middle of the stadium
  • Wrong addresses entered that are just down the street, but they’re on a freeway frontage road and I have to loop around 2 miles
  • Pickup/destination transposed
  • Pin placed by passenger in the middle of the road on a divided highway
  • Requests to be picked up on a busy curb with “no stopping any time” signs