MyGate app for gated community security addresses privacy issue but users remain wary

5 months ago 22
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Hyderabad: MyGate, the app-based security management company, has attempted to address data privacy issues regarding its app that regulates entry of visitors and delivery personnel at gated communities, but doubts persist.

Over 9,000 gated communities use the app. As reported by Deccan Chronicle in January, chief among the concerns, according to many residents and activists, was the scale of user data collected by MyGate, and its possible misuse.

Since then, MyGate has allowed users to exit data-sharing agreements with apps such as Swiggy and Dunzo for “pre-approving” entry of delivery personnel. The app no longer mandates visitors to submit their mobile numbers at the gate if they are to be granted entry. Also, the company will mandatorily delete the visitors’ log after 180 days, with options for early deletion.

MyGate has been voluntarily implementing the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines, considered the most comprehensive set of regulations for data privacy. GDPR compliance is not necessary for companies operating within India. Due to the absence of Indian laws on the same, many companies have implemented it for consumer satisfaction.

Users still remain wary of the amount of data available with MyGate. Swetha, a resident who lives in a society with MyGate in Ashoknagar, notes: “MyGate knows everything about me: who visits me, what food I order, what vehicle I own, the number of people in my house and even the help I employ. If someone ever stole this information, my privacy would end instantly.” Even if it isn’t stolen, some worry that MyGate could monetise this data.

In an interview with Deccan Chronicle, MyGate CEO and co-founder Vijay Arisetty said: “Nobody in the system has any access to user information. We have put in a lot of checks. MyGate cannot access personal information of any user, other than the decision makers in a society,” he said.

MyGate has been criticised for making it difficult for visitors to get their data deleted. If a visitor submits his name and mobile number at the entrance but later wants it deleted, she has to write to MyGate. MyGate will seek consent from the housing society. Most visitors are not aware of this process.

Arisetty admitted this is a “cumbersome process from a user’s perspective”. “This is why we are telling visitors to not enter their details unless they want to do so. Visitors can call the resident they are visiting to take them along, without giving any details at the gate,” he said.

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