We recently came across a social-media post about a certain in-car recording feature that Grab Philippines has apparently rolled out. In the tweet below, you’ll see a netizen actually complaining about how the said features can be enabled without the passenger’s explicit consent. Check it out below:
We have since reached out to Grab for a statement regarding this, and the ride-hailing company tells us that it is currently testing its in-car audio and video recording features through a pilot run that starts today, January 13, 2020. Grab explains that this is part of a study aimed at improving the safety of its services, and which will eventually “serve as another layer of security to both drivers and passengers.”
The said pilot run will continue for two to six weeks, and Grab says that there are over 180 participating vehicles, half of which are fitted with in-car cameras and the others with audio-recording devices. In case you book a car participating in the pilot run, Grab has clarified that you should be notified beforehand via GrabChat and will be given the option to cancel the booking without penalty. If you decide to push through with the booking, you will be provided with more information by the driver and through some infographics inside the Grab vehicle.
With regard to privacy, Grab claims that it will encrypt both audio and video recordings, and store these securely in its database for seven days and 10 hours, respectively. These will only be accessible by authorized Grab personnel, and will only be retrieved for investigation purposes in the event of an incident.
Going back to the tweet above, Grab promises its customers that no recording has happened prior to the official start of the pilot run, and that the aforementioned incident was a result of the Grab driver mistakenly putting up the materials a day earlier than intended.
What say you, Grab users? Do you think features like these will help improve safety? Also, would you mind Grab recording your rides? The comments section is open.