“Treat your personal information as the gems that they are.”
This was the advice of information and communication technology (ICT) group Computer Professionals’ Union to Lyka app users.
Lyka is a Hong Kong-based company which describes itself as a “social media wallet that pays for passion.” It is designed for both individuals and businesses that encourage engagement and content creation by compensating users through “Lyka Gems.”
All users have the ability to earn Gems, which can be used as cashless payment on establishments.
Security and data privacy red flags
CPU cautioned the public against using Lyka as users “may end up as unwitting subjects for a large-scale market search.”
The app “raises a lot of red flags from a security and data privacy perspective” as it details the information the app will collect from its users, such as addresses, contact details, IDs, and even bank details, the group said.
“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,” it said.
CPU cited a provision from the app which states it may “disclose users’ personal information to actual or potential buyers in the event of a merger or acquisition of any part of Lyka’s business.”
According to multiple reports, once a Lyka account has been created, there is no way to delete or deactivate it.
“Treat your personal information as the gems that they are and remember that ‘free’ doesn’t truly exist when it comes to social media. If you didn’t have to pay money to use an app, you pay with your personal data and privacy instead,” CPU stressed.
Meanwhile, in a Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho episode, Sophia Nguyen, president of global corporation of Lyka said that the social media platforms did not have access to user’s microphones, cameras, or privacy without prior permission.
“Every time you use the app, you give permission. And the thing is, we hired a talented team of developers all around the world to ensure that our client’s security, safety, and data is always well-taken care of,” Nguyen added.