Privacy Concerns Regarding Ridesharing Apps

In places across the world, making use of car-pooling apps has become prevalent. Similar to how Google has become a household name, Uber and Lyft have earned their space in the lives of most people.

 The advantage of perpetually accessible cabs and cabbies joined with user-friendly applications, along with a variety of transportation and pricing alternatives offers a large combination of technology and transit. But, as these services need passengers’ information, like their real-time location and payment methods, they may potentially put the passengers’ data and security in danger if the data gets abused.

Privacy Concerns Regarding Ridesharing Apps

Ride Share Apps: Boon or Bane?

Conventional automobile services such as cabs have declined in popularity mostly since ridesharing services extend significant benefits: instant approval of trip requests, affordable charges, and generally a current and more diverse “fleet” of automobiles because they hire individual drivers who work with their own automobiles.

Despite their widespread popularity, carpooling services come with their own set of problems, as they operate without regulation. But, it is still within the company’s scope to determine how to handle background checks for candidates or what kind of insurance is required. Fortunately, there is a human “safety check” method that a majority of cab pooling services employ. Every passenger can rate their driver, and the driver can evaluate the customers in a similar way. When a driver drops under a particular rating, they are not able to work for the service.

What kind of information do ridesharing systems collect?

To book a ride from peer-to-peer ridesharing companies such as Ola, Uber, and Lyft, users need a smartphone with GPS so that the location of drivers and potential passengers can be tracked. But, if the passenger does not disable GPS tracking even when their ride has ended, the applications are capable of monitoring and collecting information 24/7 on the passenger’s real-time location.

Apart from tracking and storing location, some ridesharing companies need the potential passengers to link to their social networking account, such as Facebook, in order to verify their identities. In such cases, people allow these services to access their personal data present in their social media accounts.

Since ridesharing companies allow users to go cashless, people need to save their bank card credentials in their ridesharing apps.

What are the security and privacy threats?

Once upon a time, a ridesharing firm threw a party in a different town where they presented in real-time the complete names and destinations of their customers. Fortunately, nothing except a bit of intense fury from the media arose from the privacy indiscretion. However, it raised the problem of how the ridesharing businesses save, manage and also protect the privacy of their customers.

Irrespective of what kind of service is offered by a firm, one should always carefully go through their privacy policy. A well-made privacy policy will explicitly mention the information the company plans to access, store, and transfer to 3rd parties.

Conclusion

Before downloading a ridesharing application and registering for its services, you must go through the app reviews. Check the reviews that are poorly rated, and see if other users have raised any privacy concerns.

Mia Watson is a self-professed security expert; he has been making the people aware of the security threats. Her passion is to write about Cybersecurity, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and new media. She writes for Norton security products at norton.com/setup.

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