The Association “National Taxi Council” complained to President and Chairman of the Security Council Vladimir Putin about the “Chinese Uber” – the DiDi aggregator. Since the application, which is installed, including among civil servants and law enforcement officers, collects personal data, this can weaken the security of Russia, the association believes.
Threat To Data
On Monday, July 12, the National Taxi Council Association, which brings together more than 50 non-profit taxi organizations in the regions, sent a letter to Vladimir Putin complaining about the Chinese taxi aggregator DiDi. The letter has Forbes; the sender confirmed its authenticity. According to the letter, the DiDi company collects information about the movement of application users in real-time and processes this data abroad, according to the letter, which was signed by the executive director of the association Natalia Lozinskaya.
The Chinese aggregator collects a large amount of cartographic and personal data, which, together with geo-positioning and “uniquely identifying information about a mobile device,” are of interest to the intelligence services of foreign states, the document says.
Through DiDi, taxis are ordered by civil servants, law enforcement officers, and military officials, as well as civilians working at sensitive facilities (for example, at the facilities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and enterprises of the energy complex), the letter says. Because of this, there is a high risk of unauthorized DiDi withdrawal of the collected information abroad, which will weaken the defense capability and security of Russia, warns Lozinskaya.
The Rules For Personal Processing Data Of The Russian Subsidiary DiDi
Didi Mobility RUS state that the company will store the collected information on servers in Russia. If they need to be transferred abroad, additional consent is required from users. However, according to the letter’s author, this provision is “formally and is not controlled by anyone.”
Lozinskaya points out that the aggregator has the right to transfer the collected data within the group of companies, so she fears that not only commercial partners, but also DiDi investors – Sequoia Capital fund, IT giant Tencent, SoftBank, General Atlantic fund and Toyota Motor company – will receive this information.
DiDi said they saw no reason for such a complaint. “Privacy, as well as the protection of personal data and information relating to business processes – a key priority for DiDi», – told Forbes PR Director DiDi in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia Irina Gushchin. She added that users’ data in Russia are processed and stored by the legislation and current privacy rules; they are used only with the consent of users.The taxi market is now highly competitive, leading to a significant reduction in the price of a trip.
As a result, it does not allow making the transportation itself more “civilized” in the economy segment, said Denis Kuskov, general director of the analytical agency Telecom Daily. The arrival of each new player is unprofitable: the same people work in the aggregators in each city (over 50% of drivers use more than one application), and new players in the market can lure them into their orders by offering the best price, Kuskov notes. “It is not clear why citizens should refuse cheap and high-quality services, given that the quality of transportation from Russian aggregators is sometimes much worse,” the expert says.
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