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Uber’s New Advertising Program Could Raise Privacy Concerns

Uber has just launched a new advertising product that will let marketers target consumers with ads “based on where they have been and where they are going,” The Wall Street Journal reports. While the ride-hailing company has so far run ads mostly on its food delivery app, the geotargeting product will let companies place ads on its ride-hailing app based on travel history and destination. Firms can also sponsor entire trips by showing different ads at various points. Experts say the geotargeting could raises privacy concerns; Uber says users can opt out of tracking.

Location data is incredibly powerful. It can be used to track people’s movements, understand their buying habits, and target them with relevant ads. And that’s exactly what Uber is doing with its app-based display ads. By knowing where its riders are going, Uber is able to deliver ads that are specifically targeted to their destination. For example, a rider who is headed to the airport could see an ad for a rental car company or a hotel near their destination.

How Will The new Program Work?
The new program will work by tracking users’ location data and using it to target them with ads. For example, if you frequently use Uber to travel to and from work, you may see an ad for a new coffee shop that just opened up near your office. Or, if you frequently take Uber to the airport, you may see an ad for a travel credit card that offers rewards points for every dollar spent on airfare.

What Are The Privacy Concerns?
Privacy experts say the new program could raise some serious privacy concerns. First and foremost, there is the concern that Uber will be collecting even more data on its users than it already does. In addition, there is the concern that advertisers will now have a way to track users’ movements in real-time, which could be used for purposes such as targeted marketing or even surveillance. Finally, there is the concern that users will not be able to opt out of the program entirely, as Uber has said they will only be able to opt out of being tracked for specific trips.

Uber has just launched a new advertising product that uses geotargeting to deliver ads to users based on their location data. While the product has the potential to raise some serious privacy concerns, Uber says users will be able to opt out of being tracked for specific trips. Do you think this new program is a step too far? Or are you willing to trade some privacy for more relevant ads? Let us know in the comments!

Pesach Lattin
Pesach Lattin
Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pesach Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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