Ola Asks Customer To Delete ‘Negative’ Social Media Posts In 24 Hours; Justifies Their Sharing Of Users’ Private Data

Ola Asks Customer To Delete 'Negative' Social Media Posts In 24 Hours; Justifies Their Sharing Of Users' Private Data
Ola Asks Customer To Delete ‘Negative’ Social Media Posts In 24 Hours; Justifies Their Sharing Of Users’ Private Data

The e-scooter company has asked a Guwahati-based Ola Electric customer to cease and desist from making any defamatory statements against Ola Electric.


How Did This Happen?

In a response to a takedown notice sent by him, Ola asked to delete all negative comments against the company on social media, and also withdraw the notice that was filed against it.

Through its lawyers Lakshmi Kumaran and Sridharan, Ola has warned its Ola Electric customer from Guwahati.

If Balwant Singh failed to comply with the demands within 24 hours, then the company would take action to protect its reputation and counter baseless allegations. 

Further confirming, Ola Electric said that it is ready and willing to “have a proper and respectful dialogue with you to find an amicable resolution”.

What Happened Earlier?

This all started when Balwant Singh on April 23 sent a takedown notice urging Ola Electric to take down telemetry data the e-scooter company had published, which indicated that his son Reetam Singh’s accident was a result of driving at high speed. 

That time, Singh alleged that his son had met with an accident due to a faulty braking system of the scooter.

Violation Of Privacy Laws

In the notice, Singh had claimed that by publishing the telemetry data, Ola Electric had violated privacy laws.

 According to him, “Ola and I signed an agreement to share data only for private access. The posting of telemetry data online is a breach of the privacy agreement between me, the user, and Ola Electric, the seller,”.

Telematics Data Is Not Personal

Ola Electric said that it denies Singh’s claim that telematics data is personal data, that it was shared without due consent and that by sharing the telematics data it was in violation of applicable law and privacy policies of the company, in its reply. 

According to Ola Electric notice, the telematics data did not contain any personally identifiable information or sensitive personal information of Balwant Singh’s son Reetam Singh.

Further, the e-scooter company pointed towards the definition of “personal information” and “sensitive personal data or information” as provided in the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information Rules), 2011, also known as the SPDI Rules.

Basically, the telemetry data does not come under the ambit of personal data or the SPDI rules, as it only shows the operational data of the vehicle during and before the accident, Ola Electric said.

Besides this, Ola also denied Singh’s claim that the disclosure of telematics data amounted to violation of revealing personal data and was actionable under IPC 1860 and Indian Contract Act 1872.

Adding that the personal data is processed by the company on the basis of consent and other grounds as it has been laid down in Ola Electric’s Privacy Policy. 

Also, customers agree to the terms of the privacy policy at the time of the purchase of the vehicle.

According to Ola Electric, the telemetry data published by the company does not amount to personal data. 

But, by publishing social media posts highlighting Reetam’s accident, Balwant Singh had himself published personal data about his son, Ola said. 

So, Balwant Singh does not have a legitimate expectation of privacy, claimed Ola Electric.

Ola Electric mentioned that once personal data is disclosed in the public domain, “there cannot remain any reasonable and legitimate expectation of privacy”.

‘Your actions were out of vendetta’ while Pointing towards the KS Puttwaswamy vs Union of India judgment, 

Ola Electric said that despite the telematics data indicating that Reetam’s accident was due to driving at high speed, Balwant Singh had continued to make and publish alleged baseless, false comments regarding the vehicle.

Creating A Negative Image Of The Company

Apart from this, Ola said that Balwant Singh had tagged high ranking government individuals for allegedly creating a negative image of the company.

When Balwant Singh posted on Twitter regarding his son’s accident, he tagged officials such as Union Minister of Transport Nitin Gadkari. 

On April 21, the minister said that the government was constituting an expert committee to investigate mishaps involving electric two-wheelers.

Further, Ola Electric’s notice said that it regretted Balwant Singh’s actions and termed it as vendetta.

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