ofo Leads the Charge in Making Bike-Sharing Safe from Cybersecurity Attacks

ofo Leads the Charge in Making Bike-Sharing Safe from Cybersecurity Attacks 
ofo is the first bike-sharing company in Singapore to obtain the
IMDA M2M certification for its GPS-enabled locks

18 September 2017, Singapore – ofo, the world’s largest bike-sharing company, announced today that its latest fleet of bikes which contains Global Positioning System (GPS) - enabled locks are certified safe by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) Singapore. This is a significant achievement as ofo is the first and only bike sharing company that has filed for and received this M2M certification in compliance with the Telecommunications Act. This initiative reflects the company’s values to protect its users’ data from potential cyber hacks and compliance with local regulatory requirements.

Lawrence Cao, Head of Asia Pacific’s business, ofo, said, “As a technology company within the broader sharing economy, we aspire to be a partner to the Singapore government as they work towards becoming a Smart Nation. Hence it is pertinent we ensure our users’ data privacy when they engage our bike services in their daily commute and leisure. We will continue to work with the Singapore authorities to ensure adherence to regulatory standards, and create a greater and safer experience for all our users.”

In every GPS-enabled lock, there is a SIM card embedded within which allows users to easily locate and subsequently lock the bike. This interaction between a user’s phone and the GPS-enabled lock is a form of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication. While having a GPS-enabled lock on bikes increases the location accuracy for users to find and use the bikes, having an uncertified lock brings with it a host of cybersecurity threats. For example, users may have their data captured without their knowledge, or be hit by malware, and the list of implications go on.

M2M communications, which is more commonly found in industries like telecommunications, consumer electronics, and healthcare, has now found its way to a rapidly growing bike-sharing industry. While M2M communications enable bike-sharing companies to better gather and optimise user-generated data, it also means that the onus on ensuring user data is safe lies with these companies.

The use of geo-fencing technology, which is gaining popularity with bike-sharing companies, also increases the likelihood of cybersecurity attacks if left unsecured. This certification from IMDA is timely as it goes hand in hand with ofo’s geofencing system which is scheduled to launch by end 2017, where users can only end their trips within designated bike parking zones. This geo-fencing technology has been successfully implemented during ofo’s Oxford launch in August, and will be systematically introduced to all the cities that ofo has a presence in, to mitigate issues around indiscriminate parking. At the same time, ofo is working closely with the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) to demarcate more than 400 parking zones across Singapore. These LTA-approved parking zones will complement ofo’s geofencing system for stronger enforcement of proper parking behaviour among users.
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About ofo

Founded in 2014, ofo is the world’s first and leading dockless bike-sharing platform operated via an online mobile application. ofo is created for sharing and aims to unlock every corner of the world by making bikes accessible to everyone. To date, ofo has connected travelers in over 170 cities across seven countries to more than 8 million bikes, generating more than 25 million daily transactions. In total, its platform has provided over 100 million global users with 3 billion efficient, convenient, and eco-friendly rides.

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