Ride-Share Apps’ Data Collection: A National Security Risk?
Elisabeth Braw, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, discusses the findings of her latest RUSI Emerging Insights paper.
The use of ride-share apps has skyrocketed in the past few years. Today, ride-share firms are a standard part of life in cities around the world. The rapid advance of this new form of transportation has led to concerns about passengers’ physical safety. A new Emerging Insights paper brings attention to another potential risk factor: the apps’ significant collection of riders’ personal data. Because such data provides a highly detailed picture of riders’ activities, it could pose a national security risk.
The report finds that ride-share apps’ collection of data poses a temptation in liberal democracies, where hacks of such data storage cannot be fully prevented. The availability of the data, however, poses a far more significant risk in authoritarian countries. Regimes can use such data to spy on their own citizens, and more technologically advanced ones – primarily China – can use it to map the lives of individuals and population groups in other countries. The latter risk has increased as a result of the Chinese government’s crackdown on the country’s technology sector.
The event is chaired by Sally Walker, former Director Cyber at GCHQ.
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