It's been a strange couple of months for on-demand transportation startup Uber. A Medium article published in September by entrepreneur Peter Sims revealed that Uber's all-seeing "God View" tracking software was occasionally (or perhaps frequently) used for non-business purposes, and while a claim like that is obviously a huge privacy no-no, it was just the start of Uber's woes.
The following weeks brought an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau, allegations that the company pushes its drivers into dangerous subprime auto loans, and evidence that Uber will ban its drivers simply for tweeting about stories that are unfavorable to the company. Things haven't gotten any better in the past 48 hours, as Buzzfeed revealed that a high-ranking Uber executive proposed a million dollar smear campaign against journalists who have written negatively about the company. Oh, and this morning we found out that Uber is investigating yet another instance of an employee misusing its extremely powerful -- and privacy destroying -- tracking capabilities.
If this is all a bit too much for you to stomach, allow me to guide you through the process of cleansing Uber from your life. It's pretty long and kind of complicated, but it needs to be done. Let's get started:
- Hold your finger on the Uber app icon until it starts to wiggle.
- Tap the "x" on the corner of the icon and confirm you decision to kill off the app.
- Feel the weight lift off your chest.
- Realize that your Uber account isn't actually cancelled because the company will still hang on to your information for a full year unless you ask them not to.
- No, seriously, there is no way to just have your account cancelled via the app or website. You need to email them.
- Go to your computer and bring up your email client of choice.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting deletion of your account. Include your account information and nearest city so they can find and remove you quickly.
- Breathe a sigh of relief.
- Wait, don't finish that breath. We still need to find an Uber replacement.
- Browse the App Store and realize that Lyft -- Uber's main competitor -- is probably the best alternative.
- Read up on Lyft and realize that the company has had a few minor controversies of its own, mostly related to angry passengers who claim they were charged incorrectly.
- Decide that Lyft is definitely the lesser of two evils and install it.
- Mix yourself a drink because it's been a long day.