Israeli Tech puts Iranian Startups in Bind

Not wanting to challenge the judiciary, Snapp said in an online statement: “As of Nov. 22, and in line with the judiciary’s order, any driver who uses Waze on his smartphone will be banned from working for the company.” The question being asked now is how Snapp can tell whether a driver is using the Waze application or not.

But Snapp drivers who did not uninstall Waze from their phones received this warning message every time they tried to pick up a passenger: “Dear Driver: Because you have the Waze app, you will not be able to access the Snapp service. Remove the app or contact your system support.”

Iranians quickly took to social media criticizing Snapp for violating their personal privacy rights. Some were curious as to how Snapp planned to search phones for the presence of banned apps. Others speculated that if Snapp could access this information, then it could probably access private data on their phones, which in turn could deal a serious blow to the company’s credibility.

Hossein Moradgholi, chief technology officer at Snapp, told the ISNA news agency Nov. 24, “We were notified of the block on Waze two weeks before the judiciary order and thus were required to prevent drivers who had this app installed on their phones from using the Snapp platform and application.”

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