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Uber Unveils Simple New Privacy Settings

Uber is making a significant change to its privacy practices: For the first time, its app will include a dedicated menu where users can easily control how the company collects information about them.

The ride-hailing service announced the new privacy settings in a blog post on Friday, stating that “simple explanations accompany each control to help you understand when information is shared with us and how it’s used.”

Uber says the new settings will start appearing in users’ apps in the coming weeks. Here is a preview of what it will look like:

The new design is an improvement over the previous privacy controls, which were cryptic and difficult to locate.

In theory, users will now be able to more easily turn off settings that permit Uber to access their contacts or to track their precise location for a few minutes prior to pick-up and drop-off. (The tracking feature caused controversy—much of it overblown—when Uber introduced it late last year.) Here is how this will look in the app:

Finally, Uber says the new settings will make it easier for users to delete their account, adding that customers who do remove the app can change their mind for 30 days.

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All of this comes as Uber navigates the fallout from a series of public relations crises related to the discovery of secret programs with code names like “Greyball” and “Hell” intended to thwart regulators and stymie competitors. The company has also been confronted with a “delete Uber” movement driven by public outrage over the company’s reputation for an aggressive and unscrupulous corporate culture.

In adding the privacy options, Uber may earn some goodwill from those who argue tech companies don’t do enough to inform users about their data collection practices. The new options come as other companies, including Facebook, have begun offering tools like “Privacy Checkups” to give users a bit more control over their data.