BUSINESS

Uber Just Made It Easier To #DeleteUber

The company's new settings allow you to delete the app from your phone and withhold location data

BUSINESS
Illustration: Diana Quach
Apr 28, 2017 at 12:24 PM ET

If you’ve been struggling to delete Uber — and not just uninstall it from your phone — you’ll finally be able to do it in a seamless way with the company’s new privacy settings. Uber, which has faced scandal after scandal in the last few months, announced Friday that it’s rolling out new features in coming weeks that give users more control over their data.

The most significant change is the ability to delete an account within the app. Previously, users had to directly contact the Uber team and ask to have their account deleted. Uninstalling the app from the phone did not get rid of a person’s server data. Now, users can delete their accounts by going into the app settings and activating a 30-day countdown. Once that reaches zero, all customer data is deleted. The grace period is in case users change their mind.

Uber’s new privacy settings will also allow users to have more control over notifications sent by Uber and the ability to withhold their location from within the app. However, users will have to input their location manually when requesting rides, which of course is annoying.

All these features come after a series of PR crisis the company has had over the past six months. In December, the company was accused of spying on users and employees. In March, it was revealed that Uber was using an internal program called “Greyball” to track law enforcement using the app to catch drivers using the service in cities where it’s illegal.

Then there was the whole “#DeleteUber” campaign in February, which lead more than 200,000 users to delete their accounts in response to CEO Travis Kalanick collaborating with President Trump and several accusations of rampant sexism. However, Uber claims its new privacy settings were already scheduled to roll out and are not in response to the company’s scandals and bad press.

“We’ve been working on improving this [account deletion] experience for more than a year,” an Uber spokesperson told The Verge.