Study shows that Uber and Ola are among the most data-hungry ride-hailing apps

A study conducted by the cybersecurity firm, SurfShark, revealed interesting and a bit appalling information about the different ride-hailing apps and their data consumption. It might not be that surprising that reputed names like Uber and Ola are also part of the list. While Ola is in sixth place, Uber is way up occupying third place. The list is topped by GrabTaxi and YandexGo. However, both these apps aren’t available in India. Is it a matter of concern that widely used apps like Ola and Uber are among the most data-hungry? Particularly in a context where data has connotations of privacy and security, it might be a cause for concern. Read along to know more about it.


The What and Why

The study conducted by SurfShark shows the amount of data collected by various apps and the way it is used. In fact, several apps request access to different elements of the smartphone from where they collect data concerning the users. This can be further packaged and sold for more income. Hence, the next time you see a notification from an app asking for access to your contacts or microphone or the like, it might be wise to think a bit. Because satiating the hunger of these apps for data might come at a cost.

Similar to the apps mentioned above, ride-hailing apps also collect an ample amount of user data. What is even more appalling is the fact that some of these apps even share data with advertisers for target ads and marketing. According to SurfShark,

Ride-hailing apps are no different – they collect a lot of user data, and some of them even use it for target ads and marketing products from different companies.”

For the purpose of study, SurfShark had analyzed thirty applications and of these, nine of them used the collected information for “third-party advertising.” If you need another shot of surprise, here you go. Ola is one of those nine apps. SurfShark used their data sensitivity index to discern the amount of data collected by different ride-hailing apps and to determine how data-hungry each of these apps are.

Although the two apps that top the list aren’t available in India, in the third place, we have Uber, one of the most widely used ride-hailing apps in the country. The fact that Uber has easy access to the videos, photos, emails, and texts of the users doesn’t help its cause. The research also revealed that Ola, which stands in the sixth position, shares the data collected with advertisers. If you are in need of a shot of relief, then we have Rapido which is the least data-hungry and only collects data required for the functioning of the app.