MoviePass will monetize user location data. MoviePass, Inc. via iTunes

Theatrical subscriptions service MoviePass has revealed that it will soon use location data of its users to make money. The move isn’t viewed as something surprising, considering that the app grants users the ability to watch movies in theaters every day for just $9.95 per month.

MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe disclosed at a recent Hollywood event that the service will soon collect user location data and monetize such information. “We get an enormous amount of information. We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards,” Lowe said at the event.

TechCrunch points out that Lowe’s statement proves that MoviePass is not camouflaging the fact that the company is not treating users as clients but as products. After all, the location data that MoviePass will be making money from will be encoded to the service by users themselves every time they go to the cinema to watch a film.

The tracking system of MoviePass is also exposed to actually do more than obtaining data about a user’s trip to a nearby theater. It tracks users even before they leave their homes and after enjoying a big screen experience. For instance, they could go for drinks afterwards and their location will be stored to the app as well.

According to MacRumors, MoviePass has made no secret of its plan to monetize its users’ location data. The service is owned by a data analytics form who has been very vocal about its plan to generate income out of user data.

"There are dozens and dozens of businesses like ours that invest in building a large subscriber base. 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],” Lowe told Recode last month.

The problem with what MoviePass is planning to do however lies on the extent of data its app is collecting. It is being assumed that the service will soon collect data like ticket sales, movie choice, promotions and many other things, and such act of hoarding information could invade user privacy.

Fortunately, iOS users could combat this invasion of privacy by restricting access of the MoviePass app to their location on their device. They can head to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and select MoviePass. They can the choose from “Never,” “While Using the App” or “Always” for their preferred restriction.