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.”
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.
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.”
In a statement to Rappler, a Lyka spokesperson said, “Lyka is steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding the privacy and personal information of all our users. We take these matters seriously and have a dedicated team to ensure we continuously honor this commitment. Thus, all claims suggesting that Lyka is a scam is patently false and unfounded.” – Rappler.com