Ola Activates ‘Number Masking’ To Protect Customer’s Identity; Sets Aside $20M For Safety Initiatives


Ola Cabs screenshot

Ola has introduced a new safety feature for their customers: Number Masking. With this new initiative, Ola drivers would not be able to access their customer’s phone number, thereby enhancing privacy of all users.

Ola has informed us that they are using a new Cloud telephony service, using which the customer’s phone number would be encrypted and then shared with the drivers. Hence, when the drivers need to call the customer, he will use this encrypted number, which can be later traced by Ola to find out the entire call records and history as well. As soon as a customer books a cab, his or her number would be encrypted and then shared with the driver for further communication.

Besides providing better security and privacy for the customer, drivers would also get benefitted with this new number masking technique, as they would be making free calls to the customers. As this whole process of encryption would happen on the app itself, the calls made by the driver would be free of charge.

Pranay Jivrajka, Chief Operating Officer, Ola said, “The Number Masking feature brings enhanced privacy for users, reducing the risk of any untoward experience for them. While driver-partners can save on their calling costs, we will be able to closely monitor driver behaviour and conversations, resulting in a superior experience for users.”

$20 Million for Security Initiatives

Confirming their pledge for providing better security initiatives, Ola has allocated a separate fund amounting to $20 million which will solely focus on improving security and privacy of their customers.

Some of the activities which Ola has planned for implementing enhanced security features:

  • All drivers shall be verified and licensed by local authorities
  • All drivers will need to attend mandatory training and timely feedback sessions
  • GPS Tracking
  • Feedback and reporting during the rides
  • In-app SOS button
  • With the introduction of this industry’s first ‘Number Masking’ technique for better security, Ola has assured their critics that they are indeed serious about safety issues.

In the last few months, Ola had diversified into several other verticals like on-demand grocery and food delivery business, (including Bus booking app) which prompted observers to claim that Ola is spreading themselves too thin.

In the past, doubts have been raised over their billing techniques, and protection of their customer’s data. Number masking feature will surely help Ola gain some trust among users who doubt their user privacy efforts!

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