MoviePass removes ‘unused’ location feature that tracked cinema-goers’ movements

After CEO brags of how customers are tracked, app gets an update…

MoviePass app removes 'unused' location feature that tracked cinema-goers' movements

MoviePass took some well-deserved heat this week after the company’s CEO revealed on stage at an industry event that his app was tracking users’ a little too closely:

“We get an enormous amount of information. We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards.”

There’s been plenty of backlash about MoviePass overstepping the mark, including in a segment on the latest “Smashing Security” podcast, so I’m pleased to see that the company appears to have updated its app in response to the wave of negative feedback.

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New updates for MoviePass’s iOS and Android apps were released yesterday.

The Android changelog just describes the update as “Bug fixes”, but the iOS version history shares a little more information:

Moviepass version history

“Removed unused app location capability”

As we describe on the latest “Smashing Security” podcast, MoviePass is looking for ways to make money from film fans which go past simply selling them cheap seats at the cinema. They’re interested in your entire evening, where you buy drinks before the movie, what restaurant you go to afterwards, which of their partners might be able to tempt you with a special deal if you’re in the area…

This is all fine, of course, if the user has made a conscious informed decision to allow companies like MoviePass to track their movements.

For further discussion on this issue, check out this episode of the “Smashing Security” podcast:

Smashing Security #068: 'Malware from outer space!'

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Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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