Confession: We have a love/hate relationship with Uber. On the one hand, it’s super convenient, can help you find a date (when following these safety tips, of course) and has even been known to help us tap into our altruistic side (remember when it took care of our spring cleaning needs?). On the other, we couldn’t help but cringe when we found out our obsession with the ride share app could be costing us upwards of more than $1,000 — ouch.
Now, we’re learning about another potentially dark side of Uber: like the information it’s accumulating about us. According to the company’s head of economic research, Keith Chen, Uber has recently acquired several pieces of information about its users that, if used together, could potentially mean we’d be subject to some majorly unfair high prices.
During an episode of a recent The Hidden Brain podcast, Chen admitted that data about the battery life of users’ cell phones is collected to determine how the app will interact with “low power mode,” a smartphone feature which automatically turns off or reduces aspects of your phone when your battery is low.
What’s more, Chen shared an interesting stat which found that “users will accept up to 9.9 times surge pricing” if their phones are on the brink of battery death. Yikes!
Though Chen promised on behalf of the company “not to gouge users” based on its collective finds, and called the stat a mere “interesting kind of psychological fact about human behavior,” we’ve gotta’ say: We’re not 1,000% comfortable with that.
Promise or no promise, we’re glad to know that the odds are (somewhat!) in our control — for the battery diligent among us, that is. At the very least, it’s definitely a good reminder to charge up before any trip we plan to take. We’re watching you, Uber!
What do you think of this latest Uber snafu? Tell us over @BritandCo!
(h/t Tech.Mich, photos via Uber and Getty)