Uber to launch in-app targeted ads based on where you go

Uber will soon use your trips to sell you stuff.
person holding phone with uber app on screen


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First Netflix announces that they will be adding an ad-based streaming option and now Uber is cashing in on targeted ads for the few times you end up leaving the house this winter.

The app is launching in-app “Journey Ads” based on your trip information. Ads will pop up on scenes through the entire process of requesting a ride, waiting for a ride, and even while you’re awkwardly sitting in the back of the vehicle.

Similar ads will also be launched on the Uber Eats app, where users will see sponsored listings, in-menu ads, and post-checkout ads. 

Users and tech experts have expressed concern about the app’s usage of first-party data for targeted advertising, saying that the information can easily be de-anonymized. Uber’s general manager for their advertising division, Mark Grether, reassured users that they can opt out of the targeted ads and that the company’s policies restrict it from using info on visits to reproductive health centers, medical centers, schools, adult entertainment establishments, and government buildings to created targeted ads. 

Despite the concern, the ads might eventually make catching a ride cheaper. If the revenue from ads makes it so that going 8 blocks in LA doesn’t cost me $35, I am all for that. Take my personal data. Heck, I’ll give you my blood type if it gets me an extra discount too.

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