MoviePass CEO now denies the app tracked customers without their knowledge

Ceria Alfonso
Marcha 14, 2018

While speaking at a conference in Los Angeles, MoviePass CEO and Netflix co-founder and former Redbox President Mitch Lowe said their service watches "how you drive from home to the movies" and "where you go afterwards". To save face he has issued an apology to customers, partners, and employees about his recent actions.

Previously the app used a standard iOS API that allowed for three privacy options - never track, always track, or only track while using the app. Lowe says that the "track all the time" capability was never activated. "When we do that, if we do that, we'll send a request to each customer to let them opt in or opt out", Lowe said, adding that only about "half a dozen" customers canceled the service over privacy concerns. Users can watch any movie they want once a day if they pay $10 per month (you have to purchase a whole year's package, though). We don't know where they go afterwards, we don't record it. There are only two events that would prompt MoviePass to identify a member's location.

"At MoviePass our vision is to build a complete night out at the movies", said a MoviePass spokesperson in an emailed statement.

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MoviePass does not track and has never tracked or collected data on the location of our members at any point when the app is not active. A response states: "If, in the future, MoviePass desires to expand our offering, we will amend our Privacy Policy and notify our members so that they will be afforded the opportunity to opt- in or opt- out of the MoviePass service". While we do create partnerships with theaters and studios in which we offer statistical data on ticket use and other trends, we never share our members' identities or personal information or personal data with anyone. MoviePass does not use and has never used this feature.

When it comes to the location tracking and privacy issues that MoviePass is now facing, we're not really sure if CEO Mitch Lowe was really just mistaken or if the company is trying to backtrack after facing severe criticism. This is what our customers expect, what the law requires, and how we've always handled data. Your trust and enjoyment are the lifeblood of our service. Earlier this month at the Winston Baker's Entertainment Finance Forum he said that the app "knows all about you", even though he emphasized they don't sell the data to 3rd parties.

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