Israeli Tech puts Iranian Startups in Bind

Commenting on claims that Snapp was snooping on drivers’ smartphones, Moradgholi said:

“We did this merely in the Android version [of the app] since the Android operating system does not require any special permission for accessing the list of existing programs on a smartphone. It should also be mentioned that only the drivers’ access [to the app] has been blocked. Of course, initially the order called on Snapp to deactivate access to Waze for both the drivers and users. However, after many follow-ups, and [Snapp] insisting on the need to respect users’ rights, an order was ultimately issued that only called for blocking the drivers’ access.”

It should be noted that it is still possible to use both Waze and Snapp apps together through a virtual private network, or VPN. Additionally, some drivers carry two smartphones, with one using the Waze navigation app, and the other using the Snapp app, to pick up passengers.

At the same time, campaigns have been launched to promote the use of Iranian GPS applications. One such app that is being introduced as a replacement for Waze is Daal, a domestic navigation app that has been developed by a group of students at Sharif University of Technology, Iran’s leading technical university.

However, it remains to be seen whether domestic applications such as Daal can replace Waze or whether users still will prefer to use the Israeli app through alternative routes such as VPNs.

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