October 19, 2023

Not My Cab of Tea


Not My Cab of Tea
A Yango car in Helsinki, Finland. Nerdbird89, Wikimedia Commons.

As reported by Bloomberg, Yango, Russian tech giant Yandex's ride-sharing app, is under scrutiny for potential breaches of European Union data protection regulations

The Dutch Data Protection Authority is investigating the operations of Yango on suspicion that the app may be involved in the unauthorized transfer of user data to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The investigation seeks to ensure the protection of user data and privacy rights in the Netherlands.

A report published by Meduza in August revealed that all user data from taxi trips booked through Yandex services abroad is being sent to Russia. Two anonymous Yandex employees told Meduza that taxi service data is stored in Russian data centers.

This raises concerns that user info from foreign taxi services might be accessible to the FSB, due to new laws that went into effect September 1, 2023, granting the FSB access to passenger taxi order databases.

The company officially stated it would not provide the FSB with overseas trip data, and stated in a press release, “Data on trips can be obtained exclusively by law enforcement agencies of the country where the trip was made, according to the procedures prescribed in local laws: this is how Russian legislation and the legislation of most other countries works. After the entry into force of the taxi law from September 1, this logic will not change.”

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