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SafeBoda exposed for illegally sharing clients’ data with third parties

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SafeBoda has been exposed over its data privacy practices, following an investigation by Unwanted Witness Uganda.

The civil society organization has today released a report implicating SafeBoda in sharing their client’s personal data with third parties without their knowledge or permission as required by Section 7 of the Data Protection and Privacy Act of Uganda, raising legal issues as well as questions of trust.

In the report, the civil society organization disclosed fresh details about ways the ride-hailing app shared access to users’ data with other tech firms like Facebook and CleverTap. They explain that in carrying out research, they reviewed the startup’s privacy policy and compared it to how the app actually operates, a number of discrepancies were identified.

Unwanted Witness Uganda discovered that the SafeBoda app was sharing data with Facebook without the consent of the users. The startup used a Facebook business tool known as a Software Development Kit (SDK) that the social media giant uses to regularly fetch data from SafeBoda’s users through the ride-hailing app.

On contacting the startup for clarification on this issue, Safeboda instantly replaced the Facebook trackers from their application with even a new tracker; CleverTap.

The researcher then goes on to explain that, “CleverTap has been involved in cases of sharing users’ data without their consent. Privacy International, a charity based in London that works at the intersection of modern technologies and rights, discovered this tracker in menstruation applications. The users’ data that’s shared includes the user’s phone type, phone contact number, email address, location, time-zone, user-names, and their internet service provider.”

SafeBoda, reached for comment, declined to offer a statement on the report.

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