NPC summons Grab over in-car audio, video recording pilot test

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The National Privacy Commission (NPC) summoned on Tuesday, Jan. 14, Grab Philippines to address privacy concerns relating to the launch of its new passenger verification system and in-car audio and video recording pilot test.

Image credit: NPC

“We understand that Grab designed their new systems as additional security to both drivers and passengers. But to avoid serious breaches of privacy, the Commission must ensure that their new system is compliant with the Data Privacy Act and adhering fully to the principles of transparency, proportionality, and legitimate purpose,” said Olivia Khane Raza, chief of the NPC’s compliance and monitoring division.

The NPC required the data protection officer of Grab Philippines to present on Wednesday, January 15, documents demonstrating their compliance with the law including, among others, their Privacy Manual, Privacy Impact Assessment reports, and Privacy Notices for the passenger verification system and in-car audio and video recording pilot test.

Grab Philippines started on Monday, Jan. 13, its pilot run for in-car audio and video recording in Metro Manila as an added security measure for both riders and drivers.

The trial run will involve over 180 GrabCar vehicles, of which half will be equipped with in-car cameras and the rest with audio-recording capabilities.

In its statement, Grab said it has already notified the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and that the initiative complies with the Data Privacy Act.

“Passengers who have been allocated a car participating in the pilot study will be notified in advance via GrabChat, and will have the option to cancel the booking without any penalty,” the company said.

“Audio and video recordings will be encrypted and stored securely in Grab’s database for 7 days and 10 hours respectively. Recordings will only be accessed by authorized Grab representatives for investigation purposes in the unlikely event of an incident,” it added.

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