MoviePass CEO now denies the app tracked customers without their knowledge

MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe says his original comments

MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe says his original comments"mischaracterized the app's location-tracking feature. Vivien Killilea Getty Images

As for users who chose to unsubscribe to the now $7.95 / month movie every day (with certain restrictions) fee, Lowe said there were around "half a dozen" customers who did that because they were unhappy with his (mistaken?) revelations. The way I portrayed what we do is not accurate. The flub took place while Lowe delivered a speech titled "Data is the New Oil: How will MoviePass Monetize It?".

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Lowe says the only time the MoviePass app actually knows a user's location is when they open the app to find theaters around them or when they check in at the theater to make sure they are at the right theater for where they purchased their tickets.

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In the ensuing days after widespread media coverage, the company tried to ease the minds of subscribers by removing "some unused app location capabilities" from the MoviePass app. The letter was published on the MoviePass website and clarifies that the app now uses standard location services on an "opt-in" basis. These include when a member requests to search for theaters nearby and when a member requests to check into a theater. In our recent update with Apple, we removed the background tracking capabilities. After all, having MoviePass track them to and from the theater was not part of the deal as they understood it. "MoviePass does not use and has never used this feature".

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Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter, nor did Cohen's attorney. Clifford could face a US$1 million penalty if she breaks the nondisclosure agreement.

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". He emphasized that location sharing is an opt-in service for users and that the app only checks the location two times: when they're looking for a theater near where they are that supports MoviePass and when they check in to whichever theater using their credit card. We will not be selling the data that we gather. This is what our customers expect, what the law requires, and how we've always handled data. The subscription service states that it treats members' data with "utmost sensitivity" and that users will always have the option to choose which location-based services are suitable for them. Your trust and enjoyment are the lifeblood of our service. "We are exploring utilizing location-based marketing as a way to help enhance the overall experience by creating more opportunities for our subscribers to enjoy all the various elements of a good movie night".

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