PSA: MoviePass App Tracks Where You Drive Before and After Movies

Globe with Tracking Data

MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe is super proud of how his company’s app is collecting data about you. In comments made at a March 2nd presentation March 2 during the Entertainment Finance Forum, Mr. Lowe the MoviePass app tracks where you drive before and after going to a theater, and all the other data they’re collecting.

To be fair, he asserted that his company isn’t selling that data, but is instead using it to market movies. But they are collecting it, and they aren’t disclosing that they are doing so in their privacy terms. TechCrunch noted that said privacy terms expressly state the app is not doing some of the things Mr. Lowe said it is.

Globe with Tracking Data
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Data Tracking R Us

Here’s the quote, in full, as first reported by MediaPlayNews:

We get an enormous amount of information. Since we mail you the card, we know your home address, of course, we know the makeup of that household, the kids, the age groups, the income. It’s all based on where you live. It’s not that we ask that. You can extrapolate that. Then because you are being tracked in your GPS by the phone, our patent basically turns on and off our payment system by hooking that card to the device ID on your phone, so we watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards, and so we know the movies you watch. We know all about you. We don’t sell that data. What we do is we use that data to market film.

“We know all about you.” I wasn’t there, but it sure sounds like he’s proud of that. And to be fair, they don’t know all about me, as I won’t be installing the app.

If you’re comfortable having companies track where you drive in exchange for discounted movies, you can download the app from the App Store and Google Play.

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I just received an email from MoviePass that is directly relevant to this conversation. I think it explains things well and correctly. (BTW, I am a happy customer of MoviePass, so far.) “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… Read more »


If it can be done, it will be done. I run my devices with Location Services off. It sucks for geotagging photos, but personal tracking data is the coin of the (internet) realm. Not just geolocation, although that’s pretty creepy, but what websites you visit, for how long, what shows you watch, podcasts you listen to, and so on… it could be tracked and SOMEBODY will try to track it. It would be great if systems could be built where this data can’t be recorded, much less tracked – the only way to be sure is to not have the… Read more »

Lee Dronick

Can’t you disable location services for the app? Or only open it at the theater?