he Speaker of Parliament has directed that the National Information Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA-U) investigates a complaint that Safe Boda was engaged in the sharing of its mobile application users’ personal data with third parties without the knowledge and consent of the users.
The complaint by a one Obedgiu Sammy was lodged with the Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga against the backdrop of a damning investigation into the motorbike transport company by Unwanted Witness, a Kampala based data protection and privacy watchdog.
According to the investigation’s findings, the Safe Boda app used a Facebook business tool known as a Software Development Kit (SDK) to routinely collect information on Safe Boda’s users via the Safe Boda app. The SDK collected information on Safe Boda users and sent it to Facebook servers, regardless of whether they were Facebook users or not which meant that even if the user didn’t have the Facebook app installed on their phone or a Facebook account, the Safe Boda app would still send data to Facebook contrary to the data protection and privacy law.
When unwanted witnesses in the making of their report put this to SafeBoda, the company removed Facebook trackers from the application and then installed a new tracker called CleverTap which provides mobile app analytics meaning that every time a user used the Safe Boda app, it still sent the users’ data to CleverTap, a third-party, without their consent.
Safe Boda has denied the allegations.
” I have duly considered the complaint. I am of the view that this matter falls under the purview of the National Information Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA-U) which is empowered to investigate and enforce adherence to the data protection and privacy Act ” Hon. Kadaga writes in a letter seen by The Legal Reports to the Ministry of Information, Communication and National Guidance under which NITA falls.
” This is therefore to forward the complaint to you under Rule 30(6) of the Rules of Procedure for your immediate action and report back within three weeks” She adds.
Benjamin is a Digital Legal News Journalist (trained by Reuters) and digital media enthusiast who founded The Legal Reports website in January, 2020 while a fourth year law student at Makerere University school of law.
Prior to that, Benjamin used to write amateur blogs and some of his legal commentaries were published by the Daily Monitor and Independent Magazine - both leading publications in Uganda. He covers lawyers, law students, judges, judiciary, courts, law schools, and law firms.