Uber Makes It Easier To Delete Accounts, Control Use Of Location Data

Until now, deleting the Uber app from your phone did nothing to cancel your account with the ride-hailing platform. To do that, you had to contact customer service. It’s still not that easy to end your relationship with Uber, but at least now you can do it without assistance from the company.

A new update to Uber allows users to initiate an account deletion from within the app itself, purging their information, including any stored payment card data.

It might be satisfying to delete the app from your device, but that doesn’t do away with your account on the service, including your ride history and stored payment card information. Before the change, users who wanted to quit the service as well as delete the app had to contact customer service. Now they can initiate an account deletion request from within the app, and their information will be purged.

New settings also let users control the app’s access to their location at any given time. You can even set the app to not draw location data from your phone at all, instead having you type in addresses. On the other end, you can share your current location with your friends, which is handy if you’ve hailed a ride to meet up with them somewhere.

The company says that it’s a coincidence that Uber is changing the account deletion process so its own employees don’t need to intervene after the #DeleteUber campaign caught on on social media. Turning account deletion into a self-service function has been in the works for a year or so, a spokesman for the company told The Verge.

Uber claims the update to the cancellation process is not a reaction to the #DeleteUber campaign that flared up on social media in recent months. Instead, the company tells The Verge that it has been working on this tweak for about a year.

This change comes after a series of revelations about the company’s use of customer data, including tracking which phones had the app after it was deleted and buying data about customers’ use of rival Lyft and aggressively pushing drivers who also worked for Lyft to drive for Uber more by using sham Lyft accounts.