One of the cab services running in India again in headlines for a wrong reason. The Ola cab service has reportedly found in controversies for leaking the personal data.
One of the company’s customer from Chennai, Swapnil Midha has reported through Facebook that she has booked a cab for her in day-time. However, of the same night she started receiving loads of SMS, around 300 to 400 in counts with ‘alpha-numeric with hashes and made no sense’.
The Facebook post states, “My phone beeped throughout the night. 1:06, 2:34, 2:37, 2:38, 4:05, 5:17. I couldn’t get my head around why these were coming at these times. I then called their call centre the next day to explain that there was probably some sort of bug and my number had somehow gotten into their highly cryptic message transmission systems, whatever secrets they were trying to transmit.”
Reporting the issue to the company’s customer support expecting to get it resolved but it didn’t work. Perhaps she had to explain the problem to each and every executive, Midha talked and that was annoying, according to her.
“Estimate a total of between 300 and 400 texts from them so far. I reached out to them through every channel possible. I called their call centre at least 5 times, demanded to speak to the senior managers, and had to explain my problem each time in great detail, answering the same annoying questions,” the post further concluded.
Later, she started looking at the messages carefully and found that there were details in them about confirming the bookings that were even made in Bangalore, though she lived in Chennai. “Ola was sharing with me, personal details of their customers throughout the day and throughout the night. It’s lucky I’m not a psychopath roaming the streets of Bangalore, waiting to get my hands on people’s personal information and knowing when they are home and when they are not, isn’t it,” Swapnil says.
After three weeks of writing, tons of emails, tweets, Facebook posts and calling at customer supports reporting about the information getting leaked and also, getting a media coverage, Ola Cabs reported that they had fixed the issue and further revealed that it might be a manual fault and they are trying to getting into it.
Also, the Ola Cabs said, in response to the controversy, “The alleged hack seems to have been performed on a staging environment when exposed for one of our test runs. The staging environment is on a completely different network compared to our production environment, and only has dummy user values exclusively used for internal testing purposes.”
Swapnil has removed the post from her Facebook profile.