It has been said a thousand times before technology has completely revolutionised our lives everything we do is shaped and formed around technology. I mean, we literally do everything online, we date, we meditate, we learn new languages, we travel, we order food we exercise and a thousand more things. We have all become so comfortable and it is so convenient that we cannot even begin to picture life without it.
But, as data privacy becomes a much bigger issue as we have learned from Facebook and we hear more and more stories of cyber-attacks, we are slowly removing the rose lens glasses and looking at the not so pretty side of technology. As intriguing as I find cyber which is a whole other universe, I am a lot more concerned about the unforeseen security risks that are associated with our daily technology engineered interactions that have really become part of our daily routine.
Every day there is a new development, but it always seems that security risks are completely neglected in tech formation. A recent conversation on 702 talk radio reported on how private taxi service, Taxify, had several cases where drivers were attacked by customers who requested rides through the App only to attack the driver loot the vehicle of cell phones and money, assaulting the driver some of these cases were so severe that some drivers died due to sustained injuries. According to one of these victims, these incidents were reported to the company but due to these perpetrators paying cash for these rides, Taxify was unable to track down these customers down.
However, it is not just the online taxi business that is no longer as safe as we thought, the recent and most tragic report of a 26-year-old woman being raped in her home by a Mr Delivery driver after the delivery of her meal goes to show how unsafe all the applications are proving to be. According to the report, this woman allowed the delivery man in the house while she went to fetch her money to pay for the meal, between the time he walked into her house and while she fetched some money, the delivery driver had unzipped his pants and proceeded to rape her in her own house! I cannot tell you how many times I have left my gate unlocked as delivery drivers waited outside for me to fetch my card, and although I am never alone when deliveries arrive,
I have never gone as far as to think that one of these days one of these men could violate me. I never thought this could or would happen, I mean why would I? why would she? In our minds, we ordered food, not violation!
Reports from Mr Delivery say that the man has subsequently been suspended and the case itself is still underway. The nerve of this man to rape a woman in her home knowing that he is registered on Mr Delivery’s database and could easily be located indicates to me that he didn’t care about the consequences of his actions and perhaps that this company did not or does not prioritise the security of its customers. Reports allege that the delivery man has been suspended not fired.
These interactions that we have through technology provide services that come with a security risk. It is not good enough to develop an App and completely neglect the fact these services are for people! Whether it is 5 minutes or 2 hours, the fact of the matter is that these Apps do not account for the human interaction these Apps create. The process of lodging a complaint is also quite tedious and by the time the company responds God only knows how much damage this same perpetrator has caused. I must admit that I am not entirely sure how Mr Delivery goes about vetting their drivers or how Taxify vets both their drivers and passengers, nonetheless, I think the bottom line is that the process is not good enough, with a number of security vulnerabilities for both the employees and the customers becoming more apparent with each incident and while no victim is ever at fault, these incidents highlight how security cautious we need to be, we need to prioritise safety over convenience.
We as customers need to hold these companies accountable, we need to be more security conscious and expect more protection when using these applications, the tech companies’ responsibility does not end after your order!