'MoviePass' Articles

MoviePass CEO Admits He Was 'Completely Inaccurate', iOS App 'Has Never Tracked' Users in Background

Last week, movie subscription service MoviePass received negative press when CEO Mitch Lowe mentioned that the company watches "how you drive from home to the movies" and notices "where you go afterwards" using location tracking in the background on iOS. This week, through customer support emails and in an interview with Variety, MoviePass and Lowe are apologizing over this "mischaracterization" of how the service locates its members and are trying to clear things up once and for all. In a letter that began hitting subscriber inboxes yesterday, Lowe admitted the need to "eliminate any misconceptions" that MoviePass is collecting location related data when it shouldn't be. He explained that the MoviePass app uses "standard" location services capabilities on an opt-in basis, and specified that there are only two events that would prompt MoviePass to identify your location: when you perform a search for nearby theaters and when you check into a theater. Otherwise, Lowe stated that Moviepass does not follow you before or after you watch a movie, or at any time that the app is not open. MoviePass does not track and has never tracked or collected data on the location of our members at any point when the app is not active. Last week, following Lowe's comments, the company removed the background tracking capabilities from the iOS app. In the letter, the CEO said that MoviePass "does not use and has never used this feature." Lowe echoed these sentiments in an interview with Variety, explaining that prior to the update, MoviePass used Apple's three standard privacy

MoviePass App Tracks Your Location Before and After Movies [Updated With Statement]

MoviePass, the app that allows you to watch a movie in theaters each day for the low price of $10 per month, is unsurprisingly planning to use your location data to make money. As TechCrunch points out, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe recently told an audience at a Hollywood event that MoviePass is collecting and monetizing through location information. "We get an enormous amount of information. We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards," said Lowe. MoviePass, which is owned by a data analytics firm, has made no secret of the fact that it plans to use data generated from subscribers to make money. "There are dozens and dozens of businesses like ours that invest in building a large subscriber base," Lowe told Recode in early February. "Netflix buys $8 billion of content a year, and believe me, they have to borrow the money to do it. Or companies like Facebook -- it's free, but they're monetizing all the advertising and all the data about you. That's exactly what we are [doing]." While MoviePass has been transparent about how it plans to make money, most people are likely not aware of the extent of the data the company collects. As TechCrunch says, it's likely users assumed MoviePass would collect data like ticket sales, movie choice, promotions, and more, rather than detailed location data that tracks your movement before and after seeing a film. MoviePass's privacy policy says that the app requires access to location when selecting a theater, and that it makes a single request for location coordinates. There's no mention of

MoviePass Founders Say Subscription Service 'Would Never Have Happened' Without iPhones in New App Store Feature

Apple today on the iOS App Store shared a new interview with the founders of MoviePass, touching on the service's origins and its integral ties to the iPhone and modern smartphone app development. MoviePass debuted in 2011, but grew in popularity last August when the company dropped its subscription price to $9.95/month, which lets customers see one standard 2D film every day in the theater In Apple's new interview with Stacy Spikes and Hamet Watt -- the pair of entrepreneurs who founded MoviePass seven years ago -- the conversation eventually focuses on where the idea for MoviePass emerged. According to Spikes, the kernel of the idea that would become MoviePass originated from art-house theaters in New York City that let customers see unlimited movies for a flat donation fee. He tried to install a similar model for his own Urbanworld Film Festival in the late 1990s, but admitted it was "too early," and that iPhones, apps, and the advances in development that emerged from this technology were all needed to address the technical roadblocks of such a service. "The idea was almost too early," says Spikes. "We didn't have iPhones and apps to figure out payment and interfacing. If it weren't for that development, MoviePass would never have happened." MoviePass works through the use of both the iPhone app and a paired debit card that is sent to subscribers through the mail after they sign up. If you want to see a movie, you travel to your local theater (MoviePass is supported at over 90 percent of theaters nationwide), select a 2D showtime, "check in," and at that time