The startup reportedly asked its customer Balwant Singh to cease and desist from making any defamatory statements against it and delete all negative comments made against the company on social media
Ola Electric has also asked Singh to withdraw the notice filed against it
Without confirming the report, the startup told Inc42 that it was just responding to the legal notice that Singh sent to the company
Ola Electric has reportedly asked its Guwahati-based customer Balwant Singh to cease and desist from making any defamatory statements against the electric vehicle (EV) startup and delete all negative comments made against it on social media.
Through its lawyers Lakshmi Kumaran and Sridharan, Ola Electric warned that if Singh failed to comply with the company’s demands within 24 hours, it would then take action to protect its reputation, as per a Moneycontrol report.
Without confirming the report, Ola Electric told Inc42 that it had just responded to the notice sent by Singh to the company.
Singh has been in news for a month now after he put up a post on social media platform Twitter on April 15 alleging that an Ola S1 Pro scooter led to his son’s accident due to a fault in the escooter’s regenerative braking system.
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Within a few days, Ola Electric countered the allegation, denying its vehicle being at fault and saying that the accident was caused due to the escooter overspeeding. The vehicle’s sensor data was also posted publicly on Twitter, raising debates around user privacy.
Following this, Singh sent a takedown notice to the startup alleging that it was a breach of the privacy agreement between him and the company.
As per the latest update on the ongoing tussle, Ola Electric has also asked Singh to withdraw the notice filed against it.
However, Ola Electric’s step to publicise its customer’s telematics data sparked a major debate as several Twitter users also accused Ola Electric of breaching customer privacy and data protection rules.
Talking to Inc42 last month, opinions of legal experts were divided on Ola Electric sharing its customer’s telematics data.
Lawyer Shraddha Deshmukh told that Ola Electric did not breach any data privacy law by either collecting or putting such data out in public because it’s mentioned under the company’s legal agreement. In fact, she said that telematics data is not personally identifiable, and isn’t about personal choices or personality, which are protected under privacy laws.
On the other hand, Rohin Garg, Associate Policy Counsel at the Internet Freedom Foundation said though it might seem fair from a legal point of view, in principle, Ola Electric’s step in making the user’s telematics data public is a “clear infringement of privacy”.
Rashmi Deshpande, partner at Business Law Chamber also said, “I wouldn’t say gathering and using such data is wrong but putting such data on social media without consent could be a dicey game.”
Ola Electric has been receiving criticism from experts in the automobile industry for various aspects of its business. In the past few months, the startup has invited more criticism after an Ola escooter caught fire in March this year and customers also started reporting various other manufacturing issues with its escooters on social media platforms.