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Friday, February 26, 2021

Computer Professionals’ Union warns against using Lyka app

Feb 17, 2021, Victor Barreiro Jr.

Non-governmental organization Computer Professionals’ Union (CPU) warned on Sunday, February 14, about the potential dangers of using the Lyka social media platform, citing security and privacy risks.

Lyka is a social media app in which users are incentivized to use the app by sharing content to earn Gems (Gift card in electronic mode), which can be cashed out for real money.

In 2019, a Lyka press release called the app a “social wallet that pays for passion,” as the app’s users and content creators “have the ability to connect with other influencers and brands getting paid instantly.”

According to a Facebook post by the CPU, some of the details within Lyka’s privacy policy are cause for concern.

CPU cited one section which details what information the app collects from users. These include names, addresses, contact details, as well as IDs and bank details.

“All these data, when collated together, form a very clear picture of someone’s identity and allows unscrupulous users to use these data for nefarious means,” CPU said.

Another section within the privacy policy notes Lyka may “disclose your Personal Data to other users and our partners and to service providers engaged by us to assist us to provide services to you or who otherwise process Personal Data for purposes described in this Privacy Policy or notified to you when we collect your Personal Data,” but does not necessarily state who else will have access to your data.

Lyka may also disclose the personal information of users’ to actual or potential buyers in the event of a merger or acquisition of any part of Lyka’s business, CPU added.

CPU said that, aside from bugs in the application, Lyka also has issues with account management, as accounts lack the ability to be deactivated. Some Lyka users are also apparently unable to cash in their earned Gems.

Warned CPU, “Since there’s no transparency as to who will have access to our personal data, users will not have visibility over how data will be handled, enabling Lyka and its partners to do whatever they please with the data they amassed. One example of companies selling personal data for profit is Facebook’s numerous data-sharing deals done in order to gain an advantage and profit share.”

Rappler has reached out to Lyka for a comment. – Rappler.com

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