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Uber, Ola among most data hungry ride-hailing apps: Report

New Delhi, Jan 26, 2022- Popular ride-hailing platform Uber and Ola top the chart on collecting extensive information about their riders which may be used for third-party advertising, a new report has claimed.

According to cyber-security company Surfshark’s data sensitivity index, Uber is third on the list while Ola, the most popular ride-hailing app in India, comes sixth in the global data-hungriness ranking (with a total of 18 data points collected).

Indian bike-taxi aggregator Rapido, however, collects the least amount of data in the ranking, said the report. It collects almost 10 times less data than the leading GrabTaxi app, and collects only its user’s name, phone number and location to deliver its services.

Surfshark revealed that popular ride-hailing and taxi data-hungry apps are additionally using contact and payment information, user’s content and other user data for third-party marketing purposes.

The index researched data collection practises of the 30 most known ride-hailing apps from the Apple Store.

Nine out of 30 analysed ride-hailing apps were found to be collected data for “third-party advertising.”

Ride-hailing apps, on average, are collecting 14 data points per user, the report claimed.

GrabTaxi (south-eastern Asia) and Yandex Go (central Asia) claimed first and second place on the list.

“Many people today are willing to trade privacy for comfort and share their personal information in exchange for a service. By doing so, people leave digital footprints everywhere they go, including their personal details, physical addresses, and even the links they click on,” said Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark which is based in The Netherlands.

Together with Lyft (ranks 7th), Uber is the only ride-hailing app that additionally collects sensitive user information, which might include race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth information, and even biometric data.

Most researched apps usually share the device and user ID, product interaction information, and precise location with third parties.

“But the most data-hungry apps like GrabTaxi can additionally use contact and payment information, user’s content (photo, video, audio, etc.) and other user data for third-party marketing purposes,a said the report.

Apps that collect comparatively less data have been found to share information with third parties as well.  (Agency)

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