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Most of us use Uber to call a cab and forget about the app until the next time we need one. But Uber doesn’t forget about you—the app can track you and collect your data to target you with personalized ads. But Uber also has a few privacy controls that you can change to limit how it can keep tabs on you and make the app more private.

Disable location access

An iPhone screenshot of Uber's location permissions page.

Credit: Pranay Parab

Uber doesn’t need access to your location data. If you deny GPS access to Uber, you’ll still be able to use the app just fine. You’ll have to manually enter your pickup location every single time, but there aren’t too many other downsides. I’ve been using Uber this way for at least five years without significant issues. The only real risk is that you may type the wrong address as your pickup point, as since GPS isn’t being used, nothing is stopping you from accidentally calling for a ride from the wrong Starbucks.

To disable location access, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services > Uber on your iPhone and select Never. The same option is under location settings in Android too.

Reduce ad personalization

When you’re on a trip, you might see an ad in the Uber app. These ads use your personalized data such as your location, trips, app usage history, food orders, and more. While you can’t entirely disable Uber ads, you can stop the company from using your data to target you with specific ads. 

To do this, open the app and select the Account tab in the bottom-right corner. Then go to Settings > Privacy > Offers and Promos from Uber. Turn off Allow personalized offers and promos from Uber.

Go back to the Privacy settings page and select Ads on Uber Eats. Disable Personalize your ads on Uber and Postmates.

Return to Privacy settings once more and go to Ads on Rides and turn off Personalize ads you see on rides.

Finally, you can remove your gender identity from Uber too because the company says it uses this information for ads, marketing, and UX research. On the Uber Privacy settings page, go to Gender identity, tap the pencil icon and select Remove my gender information.

Limit notifications and email spam

Your Uber data is also used for targeted marketing via push notifications and emails. You can reduce this by going to the Account tab in the Uber app and navigating to Settings > Privacy > Communication. You can go to Push notifications and disable everything. Go back to the Communication settings page and select Email. Unsubscribe from everything on this page too. 

Remove unwanted connected apps

If you’ve used your Uber account to sign in to other services, or connected Uber with other apps in the past, you should review and revoke that access if you’re no longer using those services. To remove linked services from your Uber account, go to Uber’s Account tab and tap your name at the top. Go to the Security tab up top and remove unwanted apps under Connected social apps. Then go to the Privacy & Data tab and scroll down to the Third-party apps with data access section. Remove the apps you don’t use any longer. 

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