CASE Shares oBike Deposits Claim Form, While Confused Users Worry About Sharing Personal Data
Your $49 might come flying back to your wallet…or not?
The primary liquidators of oBike, have announced that users can submit their deposit claims online on this form.
Don’t get too excited just yet, though.
The site, which went online yesterday, is quite suspicious.
Although the form has been verified by CASE and posted on their Facebook wall, many are questioning its legitimacy.
The website seems to be rushed Google Form that literally any 12-year-old would be able to put together.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, the problems start with the contents of the form.
We pry a little deeper
When MustShareNews accessed the site on Friday (13 Jul), we noticed quite a few worrying things.
1. Sensitive info requested
The form asks for sensitive information. This includes addresses, credit card statements, telephone bills and student certifications.
It also records the name and photo associated with your Google account each time you submit a claim.
Even if we concede that this needed for the refund process to continue, submitting sensitive information through Google Forms is usually not recommended.
This is because the Google account hosting the form could be hacked, or have its password stolen.
If you think all of this paranoia, we would like to remind you that oBike itself suffered a data breach in Dec 2017.
2. No one knows who gets your info
Making things worse, there is confusion as to who is collecting the information.
The form was created by a Google account called “oBike Deposit Holders”.
Many are concerned whether the data submitted goes to the liquidator directly or some other third party. The form offers no clarification.
3. Offline and online
At about 10:30 pm last night, the form suddenly stopped accepting responses and went offline. It has since been restored, but yet again, there has been no explanation.
CASE says “O$P$”
As reported last week, oBike owes users $6.3 million in deposits and up to $140,000 in fines to town councils.
According to CASE, oBike used user deposits to fund operating costs — a move which was called “unethical and unacceptable”.
oBike would also be “financially hard-pressed” to return the deposits, due to this very practice.
No guaranteed deposits after filling in form
In other words, you probably aren’t getting your money back, even after completing the form.
On yesterday’s Facebook post regarding the claims form, CASE states that the liquidators “will examine and adjudicate on all claims received”.
This suggests that even if the liquidators somehow finds a way to return everyone’s deposits, there’s a long road ahead for those who have submitted claims.
Money isn’t everything
While getting your $49 back is important, we think it’s important to weigh the costs of a potential data breach before giving them your information.
Heck, you might not even get your money back in the first place.
MustShareNews has reached out to the Personal Data Protection Commission for its comments on this matter.