- Popular ride-hailing app Bolt Ghana has been sued at the Accra High Court for breaching the law on confidentiality by allegedly assigning a man's personal information to one of their drivers
- The Plaintiff, Emmanuel Doe-Bruce, claimed he discovered to his utter surprise one day that his personal information and photo has been assigned to a Bolt driver
- He claimed further in a suit sighted by YEN.com.gh that he was forced to go to court after all attempts to get Bolt to rectify the issue failed
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Online ride-hailing service providers Bolt and Taxify have been sued at the High Court for allegedly breaching the law on confidentiality and non-disclosure of personal information.
Emmanuel Edem Doe-Bruce dragged the two entities to court for allegedly misusing his private and personal information by assigning his name and photograph, among other particulars, to another person unlawfully and without his authorisation.
Court documents filed at the High Court and sighted by YEN.com.gh claim Bolt and Taxify assigned Mr Doe-Bruce’s personal information to another driver without his knowledge.
When Bolt and Taxify appeared in court over the suit, they asked the judge to dismiss the case and direct aggrieved Doe-Bruce to Estonia, the home country of Bolt and Taxify, where they are registered.
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However, the court dismissed their motion since they are also duly registered in Ghana and ordered them to file their defence by September 12, 2022.
The Case Against Bolt and Taxify According To Mr Doe-Bruce
It is the case of Mr Doe-Bruce, the Plaintiff, that in 2021 he desired to become a Bolt driver and so started the process to become one. However, he did not complete the process that would have enabled his personal information to go online, let alone assigned to another driver.
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Mr Doe-Bruce, a media consultant, explained that the Bolt App allows an individual to register as a driver (usually referred to as "Bolt-drivers") to whom, upon registration, both Bolt and Taxify and their partners create and assign a unique online account.
He stated in the court documents that the online account, which is created and assigned to a would-be Bolt-driver, would not be activated until the driver completes a special training programme organised and supervised in Ghana by Bolt and under the authority and direction of Taxify.
However, Mr Doe-Bruce claims he did not attend that special training and so never had his unique online account activated. He also claimed that he never used his Bolt-driver account to operate a Bolt service.
But to his surprise, he discovered subsequently that Bolt and Taxify have assigned to another driver his personal information – name, photograph, among other particulars – which he provided to the two companies when he registered with them.
“The decision by the 1st Defendant [Bolt] and the 2nd Defendant [Taxify] to assign the Plaintiffs personal information to that other person or any other person, for that matter, was without the Plaintiffs knowledge, authority, or consent whatsoever,” lawyers for Mr Emmanuel Doe-Bruce, Praetorium Solicitors, argue in the writ.
The lawyers say at the last check, the Bolt driver to whom Mr Doe-Bruce’s personal information has been unlawfully assigned had made as many as 759 rides.
Doe-Bruce’s Appeals To Bolt And Taxify Ignored
Lawyers for Mr Doe-Bruce claim that on May 17, 2021, their client brought the attention of the two companies to the unauthorised and unlawful assignment of his personal information to another person.
But Bolt is alleged to have responded in a letter dated June 29, 2021, that while it was accurate that Doe-Bruce’s personal information had been assigned to another driver, aspects of his claims were inaccurate.
“Every effort by the Plaintiff to have the 1st Defendant or the 2nd Defendant have the breach of his privacy and confidentiality and the misuse of his personal information remedied have landed on rocks,” Mr Doe-Bruce’s lawyers averred.
Among other things, Mr Doe-Bruce is asking the court to grant general damages for breach of contract and for wrongful, unlawful, and unauthorised use of his personal information.
Digitalisation: Ghana's Digital Drive Gets Massive Praise From Ad Dynamo CEO Sean Riley
The CEO of Ad Dynamo told journalists during a virtual conference that Ghana remains one of the promising destinations for developments in digital destinations.
"Ghana is already ahead of the curve in so many countries in the world, not just Africa. There is a lot more ambition. I think [Ghana] is leaps and bounds ahead of some of the countries we operate in.
"It is exciting to be putting down roots in a country where the government acknowledges that digitalisation is the future," Sean Riley said.
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