Everything You Need to Know About Grab’s Audio and Video Recording Surveillance

What you need to know before getting into a Grab.

To test its new safety and surveillance measures, Grab will be conducting a pilot study on Grab rides in Metro Manila in which vehicles will be equipped with in-car audio and video recording. What does this mean? It means Grab is watching you for the duration of your ride. Before you panic and scream Big Brother, this pilot study is part of Grab’s efforts to fulfill its promise to prevent incidents and deter criminal activity.

Here’s everything you need to know about getting into a Grab car during the next few weeks:

1| Grab will be recording your every sound and move.

The audio and video recording surveillance system is part of Grab’s efforts to increase passenger and driver-partner safety. Although a few cases of sexual harassment have been reported in recent months, Grab says the action is part of continuing efforts to tighthen secruty measures and not necessarily triggered by a specific incident.

2| This is only temporary.

The pilot study started on January 13 and will run for two to six weeks. After that, Grab will determine whether audio and video recording in Grab vehicles will be necessary on a permanent level.

3| Not every car will have audio and video recording.

Only 180 vehicles are part of the study. Ninety are equipped with in-car cameras, while the other 90 are equipped with audio-recording systems.

4| Every participating passenger will be informed ahead of time.

You will be informed once you book a Grab if you will participate in the study. If you don’t want to participate in the study, then you can cancel your Grab car without any penalty.


5| The recordings will be deleted after seven days.

All audio and video recordings will be encrypted and stored in a secure database. Video recordings will be deleted after 10 hours and audio recordings will be deleted after seven days. The database will not be available to the public, and only authorized Grab persons will access the database in the event of an incident.

6| Recording starts when you're picked up.

The audio recording capabilities will start when the Grab driver presses the “pick-up” button, and stops when the driver presses the “drop-off” button. However, the dashcam will record for the entire time the driver is online.

7| It is legal.

According to Grab, “There is no jurisdiction that restricts us from putting up safety measures for the benefit of our drivers and passengers. But rest assured that LTRFB will be notified immediately.” The new feature is in line with the Data Privacy Law as it informs its passengers ahead of time.

8| This isn't the first time for ride-hailing apps.

Grab Indonesia rolled out its own pilot test in Jakarta a few weeks ago, and in China, the most used ride-hailing app Didi implemented its own security measures in 2018.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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