MoviePass CEO, Mitch Lowe received some scrutiny when he recently bragged about his popular APP practice of tracking customers before and after they went to the movies. To save face he has issued an apology to customers, partners, and employees about his recent actions.
This was a no-brainer and needed to be done.
People are already weary when it comes to their smartphones, using apps and how the apps use information gathered while they are using them. The flub took place while Lowe delivered a speech titled “Data is the New Oil: How will MoviePass Monetize It?”. He bragged that his app gathered ridiculous amounts of data from customers and revealed to the crowd, “We get an enormous amount of information, We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards.”. Not smart if you want to scare current or potential customers away.
Today in a lengthy statement, Lowe apologized for his mistake and revealed they have “removed the app’s background tracking capabilities” and that “MoviePass does not use and has never used this feature”. Read the entire statement below:
Dear MoviePass Members, Partners, and Employees:
While speaking at a conference in Los Angeles, through a mix of exuberance about our future and joking around, I mischaracterized how MoviePass locates our members and I need to fix that. It has raised a lot of concerns and I understand why.
First and foremost, I apologize for these comments and the concern they caused. At MoviePass, we take customer privacy extremely seriously. I would like to eliminate any misconceptions that we’re collecting location related data.
The MoviePass app currently uses standard location services capabilities on an opt-in basis. There are only two events that would prompt MoviePass to identify a member’s location. These include when a member requests to search for theaters nearby and when a member requests to check into a theater. Both events require both the app to be open and for the member to request the action.
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. In our recent update with Apple, we removed the background tracking capabilities. MoviePass does not use and has never used this feature.
Our goal at MoviePass has always been to encourage people to see more movies as they were meant to be seen — in the theater. We want to make our service available at a price anyone can afford and everyone can enjoy. 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.
We understand that you may have further questions, so have included an additional FAQ page for your reference.
Again as a MoviePass customer myself, all we want is transparency when it comes to these apps and their information gathering. This is a step in the right direction.
Photo: Vivien Killilea / Getty