Here’s one of the biggest steps taken in the transportation section by any Sri Lankan, and a tool that will definitely come in handy, especially if you are living around the cities and suburbs. Pick Me, the home-grown ride sharing app disrupted the transportation sector in Sri Lanka, by transforming the classic tuk-tuk rides. Even with the growing competition of Uber, this local company has managed to innovate and diversify its business in numerous areas such as passenger rides, food delivery and parcel delivery. In this article we are going to look into the effect of this ride sharing app on your digital privacy. So, let’s hop on!
First and foremost, Pick Me will receive the information you provide when signing up for the service, which includes the usual user name, profile picture and email address. Furthermore, when you use the app to book a vehicle, generally the following information will be also be collected.
1.Location information (obviously)
When you have allowed the app to use your location service, it may collect data when the app is actively running in foreground, as well as in background. Your IP address will also be used to get the approximate location.
2. Contact information
“…may access and store names and contact information from your address book.”
Type of service requested, date, time, amount charged and distance traveled are some of the details that will be collected.
Furthermore, other details such as your app preferences, settings, device information, call and SMS data related to Pick Me services and log in data will be collected.
In addition to this, when you integrate other apps such as Facebook with the Pick Me app, some of your information on such apps will also be accessible to Pick Me.
If your organization provides you work travel with Pick Me, they will also collect some information relating to you from your employer. After you complete a journey or any other service form the app, service providers will also write to you, and your user ratings will be sent to Pick Me. (Peer Review mode alert)
This information will mainly be used to provide you with better service, be it ride sharing or food delivery, and to connect you to drivers and service providers. And as with typical tech companies, user data will be used to personalize the offerings. However, in doing so, data may not only be processed and stored in Sri Lanka, but will also be shared with other countries. (“…some of which may have fewer protective data protection laws…”)
Pick Me will share the information;
- with service providers Ex: drivers
- other users, when you use “Share ride”
- with third parties, for promotional and partnerships purposes
- other apps and services that may use Pick Me APIs
- your employer if you are getting the service through your workplace
What rights do you have?
You can correct or change your account information, but in order to delete or cancel your account, there is no easy way out but to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even after your account is deleted, some information could be retained, in case there are any issues such as outstanding balances to pay on your account, or any fraud and policy violations that Pick Me holds you responsible. Furthermore, depending on the applicable law, your access rights will be executed, and there is no mention about what you can do to delete your location information history with the app, or if it is even possible.
Overall, it seems that given the low level of privacy regulations in Sri Lanka, Pick Me’s privacy statement does not elaborate much and flexible compared to most of the international apps. Hence it is always better to clarify your issues with the company at email@example.com, which would be the most effective method we suggest.
Written by: Rtr. Ashen Hirantha
Edited by: Rtr. Kalani Siriwardena