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Swiggy backer Meituan-Dianping orders probe into massive data leak


After suffering from a massive data leak, China-based Meituan Dianping, which recently invested in Indian food delivery platform Swiggy, has begun an investigation into the matter.

A few weeks ago, two biggest Chinese food delivery companies — Tencent-backed Meituan and Alibaba’s Ele.Me — were startled by revelations when they found personal data of their users were readily available for sale through several channels for as little as RMB 0.10 (2 cents) per person.

The leaked information included names, mobile numbers and home addresses of tens of thousands of Meituan’s users.

Meituan Dianping suspects that because of the involvement of multiple parties in food delivery, such as merchants and third-party delivery services, some unlawful participants might have been able to gain access to information.

Earlier, the Alibaba-owned Ele.Me released a statement and said it was investigating the leak. It claimed that it has a team of 200 people responsible for data security for businesses and individual users.

This is not the first time when the case of such data breach has been recorded from China.

In January this year, Ant Financial, the affiliate of Alibaba, apologised for misleading users into allowing its Alipay service to share data on their spending habits with its credit-scoring arm Sesame Credit and other third-party services.

The mobile payment platform, which is used by millions of Chinese users to make the online purchase on Alibaba’s Taobao platform and elsewhere, led its users automatically checked a box and hidden language showing they agreed to share their data.

Besides, the new data leak case comes at a time when there is a huge outcry over the failure of data privacy by tech companies.

Recently, Facebook was found itself embroiled in a controversy following the data breach. The information on as many as 87 million Facebook’s users was routed to a data firm Cambridge Analytica without their consent.

The data firm allegedly utilised the information to influence the voters’ psychology and maneuvering public opinion in the U.S. Reportedly, it culled similar information of the users and utilised it for political purpose in other countries as well.

The development was first reported by Bloomberg.

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