June 28, 2017

Egypt asked for Uber’s help tracking passengers



Apple iPhone SE smartphone with Uber app on screen
Copyright: gdolgikh / 123RF Stock Photo

Were you uncomfortable about Uber’s ability to track rides? Be glad if you don’t live in Egypt — in that country, the power could easily fall into the wrong hands.

The New York Times understands that the Egyptian government asked Uber to give it access to Heaven, its tool for live ride tracking data. Uber thankfully said no, but the offer may have been tempting. Reportedly, military intelligence officials were willing to give “preferential treatment” to Careem, Uber’s Middle Eastern arch-rival, if it had given into those demands. It also shot down the idea. However, there’s a real chance that these companies might not have much say in the matter before long.

A bill coming up for a vote in the Egyptian Parliament would mandate that ridesharing companies not only host relevant servers inside the country, but connect their data to “relevant” government bodies. If the bill becomes law, it would be all too easy for Egypt to scoop up ride data for the political opposition (say, where activist leaders are meeting) or block the service to thwart protests.

There’s certainly reason to be worried: the government blocked both Signal’s secure chat app and numerous websites in a bid […]

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The News for the Gig Economy Staff is constantly searching the web for the latest news regarding freelancing and gig platforms to bring them to you in one handy place. All articles with this generic author have been sourced with the original location at the bottom of the piece. We encourage our readers to view the original source of all excerpts. NGE is a project of ARC Online, LLC.

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