Lithuania asks Google and Apple to remove Russian ride-sharing app Yandex

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VILNIUS (Reuters) – Lithuania has asked Google and Apple to remove the app from ride-hailing service Yandex.taxi, owned by Russia’s Yandex and Uber, transport and economy ministers said on Monday.

The request to remove the app in Lithuania follows the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the transport ministry said in a statement.

Yandex did not immediately comment.

“The safety of our people and their data is now of the utmost importance… The carpooling app, which threatens our national security, must be stopped in Lithuania,” Transport Minister Marius Skuodis said in a statement. a statement.

Yandex.taxi is not allowed in Lithuania because the service is provided by drivers who register through the app, the ministry said.

In 2018, the Lithuanian state cybersecurity center advised against using the app, saying it suspects the app collects excessive amounts of user data and may send it to servers in Russia, putting it available to Russian security agents.

In response, Lithuanian news outlet 15min quoted a Yandex official as saying that all user data is processed within the European Union.

Uber has a 29% stake in Yandex’s mobility business, which includes ridesharing and ridesharing.

But since late December, Yandex has had a US call option to acquire that stake from Uber for around $2 billion if exercised in September 2023.

(Reporting by Andrius Sytas, additional reporting by Alexander Marrow, editing by Terje Solsvik, John Stonestreet and Grant McCool)


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