Law could require ride-hailing firms to provide government access to live data
The Egyptian government has drafted a new law that could require private ride-hailing firms such as US-based Uber and Dubai-based Careem to share live data about customers, drivers and journeys with the governments military intelligence.
It is understood that government representatives have previously approached both Uber and Careem to allow government access to their journey tracking software or customer data.
Uber rejected the offer, while Careem considered the offer in exchange for a preferential treatment but eventually also declined, according to a New York Times report released last month.
Once approved by Egypts parliament, the new law is expected to require ride-hailing firms to locate their servers inside Egypt and link their data to relevant government bodies.
Critics fear that such a law will further contribute to intrusive surveillance, which Egyptians have been subjected to in recent years.
Signal, an encrypted messaging app that is popular among Egypts activists, was blocked in December last year although the developer managed to reverse the blockage shortly after.
Human rights groups in Egypt also report consistent phishing attacks, luring victims to surrender passwords, which purportedly come from the government.
A number of activists has also been imprisoned due to criticism of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi or his policies on social media.
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