TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
Movie theater subscription service MoviePass has attracted quite a bit of attention lately. For $9.95 a month, the service allows subscribers to watch as many movies as they wish every month, though you can't watch more than one film per day. For dedicated movie-goers, being able to see roughly 30 movies a month is a dream come true.
The service has received opposition from theater chain AMC, calling MoviePass' business model "unsustainable" and saying the low monthly price will only set consumers up for disappointment "when or if" the business flops. That said, MoviePass isn't completely oblivious to the reality of their situation. Their eventual plan has always been to sell user viewing habits to third-parties, thus bankrolling their product and keeping it sustainable in the long term.
Exactly what viewing habits MoviePass intend to learn about their users has never been made clear. Most users likely assumed MoviePass simply planned to record information like movie preferences or theater visit frequency.
However, it seems the company may be interested in obtaining far more than that. As reported by TechCrunch, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe spoke to an audience at a Hollywood event last week, telling them "we know all about you."
"We get an enormous amount of information," the CEO said. "We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards."
Lowe went on to flaunt his company's data collection efforts. "We get an enormous amount of information," the CEO said. "We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards."
A MoviePass spokesperson replied to a request for comment on the situation with the following statement:
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. 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.
This statement might come as a relief to some but it fails to address why this data collection wasn't disclosed in the company's official privacy documentation. No doubt, more will come of this soon.