Ride-hailing platforms collect user data for selling to advertisers

Popular ride-hailing platform Uber and Ola top the chart on collecting information about their users which may be used for third-party advertising, according to cyber-security company Surfshark’s data sensitivity index.
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Uber is third on the list. 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 collects the least amount of data in the ranking. Rapido 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.

Ride-hailing and taxi data-hungry apps are using contact and payment information, user’s content and other user data for third-party marketing purposes.

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

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

Ride-hailing apps are collecting 14 data points per user.

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.

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.

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.

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

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