BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Movie Pass, the movie ticket subscription service now admits it’s exploring ways to collect private data on its 2 million plus users.
Movie Pass is often described as Netflix for movie-goers and makes money by collecting subscription fees. The company now says location based marketing could help it generate more revenue.
During a forum called “Data is the New Oil, How Will Movie Pass Monetize It?” CEO Mitch Lowe reportedly said “We get an enormous amount of information…You are being tracked in your GPS by the phone.”
Lowe also spoke about the importance of data mining in an interview last week.
“It’s a real big part and the way we will use it is to help the studios know who should watch, who wants to watch a particular film,” Lowe said.
“It’s not a pass, it’s spyware.” Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, said.
Court said people can limit how much personal information their mobile phones reveal by changing the settings on their location services.
“Why is it a problem for movie pass to know where we’re at?”
“We’re signing up for free movies,” Court said. “and this just shows there are no free movies.”
“It’s probably about the restaurant you want to beforehand and how you got to that restaurant and how you’re getting home from the movie.”
“Exactly,” said Court. “That’s how this company’s gonna make money.”
Movie Pass is the latest tech company to face a backlash over data collection. After a public outcry in August, Uber said it would stop tracking riders for up to five minutes after their trip ended.
In December, CBS News reported on Google Home and Amazon Echo. Consumer Watchdog warned they could become listening devices, a claim both companies denied.
“Data is the life blood of so much in Silicone Valley,” Nicholas Thompson, Wired editor-in-chief and a CBS News contributor, said.
Thompson said tech companies collect personal information not only to make money, but also to make their services more efficient for customers.