The challenges of GDPR compliance in Taxi businesses

Anna Sopova

When Uber hit the market a few years ago, followed by Bolt and the rest of the ridesharing businesses, we had no idea how much we would love these services. Statistics show, the number of people in the US using Uber has been steadily increasing since 2017. Starting from 49 million in 2017, it reached 111 million in the last quarter of 2019. Without a doubt, we wished and waited for the always-available cars. However, because these services collect riders’ personal information, there’s always a risk of personal data misuse, and so the issues related to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance.

Expanding their partner network, Taxi businesses are balancing on a thin line of trust. Business owners can’t entirely control every interaction between a passenger and a driver, so there’s always a risk of violating someone’s privacy. Adjusting processes to the data protection law and securing your company from severe consequences it’s not easy in this subject.

How GDPR impacts Taxi businesses

The Data Protection Act focuses on how companies and organizations collect, use, store and dispose of user data. There is a set of regulations that businesses have to follow to avoid severe penalties.

The Act states that when a company collects information from customers, it has to be clear about what they’re going to do with this data. The customers first need to consent for data collection. Without the acceptance, the company cannot gather ANY information about the user. Also, if a company stores the data, it must inform users how long it will last. Of course, to store data, a company has to use encryption.

While app-based ride-sharing services use modern technology to secure customer privacy, many Taxi businesses struggle with GDPR compliance. Taxi drivers or the office team often don’t use any system to adequately store and protect user data. Besides, the companies aren’t prepared for any marketing activities. Without a system that supports the process of collecting user consents, companies can’t contact their customers with any offers because they have no permission to do so.

However, some challenges affect both ridesharing and Taxi companies.

The challenges of GDPR compliance

There were many instances where a ridesharing company was sued for violating someone’s rights. A recent Uber case is just an example. But it’s not a surprise considering how difficult it is to respect the law having so little control over the driver and passenger interaction.

Direct communication between driver and passenger is a necessary part of service. It defines the customer experience and allows for building client trust. It’s the inability to monitor these interactions that often results in driver misbehavior and subsequent lawsuits. Drivers have access to passengers’ data (phone number, real-time location, payment details, addresses), and there’s always a risk of data misuse. It means the bigger is your partner network, the more risk you take as a business owner.

But don’t worry - there’s a light in the tunnel.

GDPR compliance software for Taxi aggregators 

Thanks to Apifonica, you can monitor driver-passenger interaction and avoid the risk of personal information misuse. To solve the GDPR-related concerns of Taxi businesses, Apifonica introduced the smart Call Masking technology.

Call Masking enables direct driver-passenger communication without revealing either party’s phone number. The technology tracks and records call for quality control and claim resolution purposes. Also, it collects passenger feedback via a survey by automated phone calls, SMS, and messaging apps. The solution ensures full GDPR compliance and provides companies with reports on conversation scores and customer behavior that helps to improve overall service quality. 

To summarize, Apifonica secures customer experience in Taxi businesses by

  • protecting personal data with phone number masking,
  • monitoring interactions during rides,
  • alerting companies about possible data misuse,
  • supporting post-ride relationship

WeTaxi already benefits from Call Masking

WeTaxi is an Italian ride-hailing app that developed an extensive partner network of taxi services across the country. Since the company wanted to take care of the customer experience and have better control over the quality of rides, they decided to work with Apifonica.

Using Call Masking service, they successfully provided their customers with a temporary channel for driver-passenger communication for each ride. How? When the driver accepts the order through Wetaxi, the technology assigns virtual phone numbers to both the driver and the passenger. Once the ride is completed, the numbers remain active only for the next 24 hours (to allow reporting of forgotten items).

Secure your rides with Apifonica

Taking extra steps to protect personal data is valuable action in the modern world. The convenience of Taxi services is something we should care about and not take for granted.

One weird conversation through a phone can make your customer go to your competitor. Keep your rides safe and keep your passengers satisfied with Apifonica's Call Masking.

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