Unofficial parking meter app providing illegal valet parking services removed from app stores

An unofficial parking meter app, “Meter Man,” that provided its users with illegal valet parking services, has been taken down from mobile app stores following an exclusive report by Headline Daily, The Standard’s sister publication.

The report on Thursday revealed that the app allows drivers who parked at public parking meters to extend their parking hours exceeding the four-hour limit without the need to pay for the meter in person.

Currently, Hong Kong’s new smart parking meters only allow drivers to extend their parking session online once to prevent abuse. For example, drivers who parked at a 2-hour meter can extend their parking session once to a total of 4 hours using the official HKeMeter app. The driver will have to feed the parking meter in person after four hours should the driver want to continue his session.

The app that was removed today allowed drivers to pay online, while the app operators would arrange for personnel to pay the meter in person on behalf of the driver.

Responding to media inquiries, the Transport Department said they were aware of the unofficial meter app and have since launched an investigation.

It is understood that the department has requested the mobile app stores to remove the app from their platforms.

A department spokesperson said app users are at risk of personal data breaches as the app requires users to input personal information for registration.

The spokesperson added that the department has also sought legal advice for further action on the matter.