MoviePass and Location Data

March 05, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

From Jon Fingas at Engadget:

MoviePass' approach to gathering viewer data might raise eyebrows. According to Media Play News, CEO Mitch Lowe told those at a business forum that the movie subscription service's app not only tracks your location, but follows you to and from the theater. "We watch how you drive from home to the movies," he said, adding that "we watch where you go afterwards." Not surprisingly, the company is hoping to understand customer habits and "build a night at the movies." If people tend to have dinner before the movie or to have a drink afterwards, for example, MoviePass could steer customers to restaurants and bars and take a cut of the revenue.

My guess is that MoviePass customers didn't think about that when they bought movie tickets. Engadget hedges on the veracity of the report, but if it's true it's a big problem for MoviePass. Apple was willing to come down on Uber for this crap and I'm sure they would pull MoviePass in a heartbeat.

UPDATE: MoviePass responded.

We will not be selling the data that we gather. Rather, we will use it to better inform how to market potential customer benefits including discounts on transportation, coupons for nearby restaurants, and other similar opportunities.

So let's get this straight. The CEO says "we watch how you drive from home to the movies" but the company says they don't actually do that yet. But don't worry, they totally have their story straight and everyone can trust them with this. It's cool, bro.