After weeks of bad press, Uber finally did something that isn't totally dishonest or gross. The popular ride-hailing service said today that it's going to make life easier for people who want to delete their Uber accounts permanently by letting them do it from within the app.
Now, you'll be able to permanently delete your account (and all corresponding data) from the Uber servers by going to the app's privacy settings. Previously, users had to message someone from the Uber support team to have this information deleted. The new process gives users a 30-day window before deleting all of the customer's data permanently.
This big update is part of a new Privacy Settings menu that's being added to the app. The menu lets users have great control over location data, phone contacts and other information being shared with Uber regularly.
Of course, Uber still apparently found a way to turn this seemingly positive update into a creepy one. According to a TechCrunch report, the process has been codenamed "Dear John" internally — ostensibly a reference to a letter typically written from a woman to man ending their romantic relationship. The name is an especially peculiar choice given recent accusations from software engineer Susan Fowler, who described rampant sexism at the company.
The agonising process of deleting an Uber account has also been a hot button issue for months, especially after a grassroots "#DeleteUber" campaign started in response to Uber's perceived undermining of a taxi strike at JFK airport in January, as well as CEO Travis Kalanick's garbage statement on President Trump's immigration ban. The app-deletion campaign reportedly resulted in 200,000 app uninstalls within a few weeks, and eventually allowed chief rival Lyft to supersede Uber in the App Store popularity rankings.
However, according to the Verge, Uber insists that the decision to alter the deletion process DEFINITELY TOTALLY ABSOLUTELY wasn't a result of the campaign. "We've been working on improving this [account deletion] experience for more than a year," a company spokesperson claimed.
So, now you can supposedly delete your app without having to fight to do so. That's great news on the surface, but don't forget about all the other shady stuff!