Moviepass under fire for tracking users

(CBS) -- Moviepass is often described as Netflix for moviegoers, 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 Moviepass 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 wants to watch a particular film," he said.

"It's not a pass, it's spyware," says President of Consumer Watchdog Jamie Court.

Court says people can limit how much personal information their mobile phones reveal by changing the settings on their location services.

"We're signing up for free movies. And this just shows there are no free movies."

Moviepass 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 5 minutes after their trip ended.

In December, we reported on Google Home and Amazon Echo, which Consumer Watchdog warned could become listening devices-a claim both companies deny.

"It almost feels a little bit like big brother-ish," says Amazon Echo owner Elizabeth Saldebar.

Wired editor in chief Nicholas Thompson, a CBS News contributor, says tech companies collect personal information not only to make money, but also to make their services more efficient for customers.

"The problem is that a lot of these companies that are getting our data aren't -- I don't know -- totally clear? Totally honest? Totally open about it? So that's a big issue," he says.