In an effort to resolve cases of inappropriate behaviour and fare-related disputes more efficiently, taxis and private-hire cars will soon be allowed to make audio recordings of their trips.
The revised guidelines were announced by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) yesterday, and will take effect on the 15th of July. Currently, taxis and private-hire cars can be equipped with inward-facing in-vehicle recording devices (IVRDs) without audio, after obtaining permission from the LTA.
According to a report by The Straits Times, drivers are not allowed to make recordings with unauthorised devices such as mobile phones, and can only use recording devices from three LTA-authorised companies: i Vision Pte Ltd, Solo Pte Ltd, and SSTA Technology Development Pte Ltd.
Taxis and private-hire cars equipped with cameras are required to display notices that inform passengers that they are being recorded. Pre-booked rides from ride-hailing services such as Grab and Go-Jek must also notify commuters before picking them up.
While the new guidelines will no doubt raise concerns of privacy, only authorised personnel in relevant government agencies and LTA-authorised data controllers will be allowed to access the recordings.
When Vulcan Post reached out to Grab for a statement, the ride-hailing company welcomed the new guidelines.
“We look forward to working closely with the authorities to implement the guidelines and communicate the changes to our driver-partners. IVRDs are useful for both driver-partners and passengers in situations such as fare evasion and disputes, and the guidelines will help protect the privacy of passengers.”
Header Image Credit: Taxi Singapore