MoviePass iOS app update removes 'unused' location tracking

Crowd watching movie in theatre rear view

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 outrage over the location tracking came after Moviepass CEO Mitch Lowe made comments about how the company can track subscribers.

MoviePass now has about 2 million subscribers, and Lowe bullishly predicted that it will top 5 million by the end of 2018, speaking last week at an entertainment finance conference in Los Angeles. Though the Android app's changelog merely states "bug fixes" for the changes, the iOS changelog includes the following phrase: Removed unused app location capability.

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After initially launching the service starting at $30 per month, MoviePass cut its monthly pricing to $9.95 last summer.

For users who wish to disable the Global Positioning System tracking, they should download the update from the app store right away. It may also be possible to manage additional tracking by turning off location tracking on your phone and killing the app when not in use.

According to the company, it is simply exploring the use of location-based data, which it doesn't plan to sell. MoviePass subscribers may see up to one movie per day at participating theaters, with certain restrictions. "We watch where you go afterwards", he reportedly said, sparking complaints from its user base.

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While none of that is inherently bad, the revelation that MoviePass is (was?) tracking users' locations without any disclosure earned the company a load of criticism.

It iterates users will have the ability to choose the location settings that are right for them. That data would help it determine potential vendors it can market to its subscribers with discounts and similar things.

We checked with MoviePass and received this statement from a spokesperson.

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