Grab Philippines Halts Selfie Feature, In-car Recording After NPC Order

These features follow the legal criteria for lawful processing of data, Grab said.

Grab Philippines

Grab Philippines said it has temporarily suspended its passenger selfie feature and in-car audio and video recording pilot in compliance with the order of the National Privacy Commission (NPC).

“We will fully cooperate with NPC in providing necessary supporting documents to adhere to their standards, implement additional corrective measures, and ensure that NPC’s expectations and our approach for safety are mutually understood,” Grab said.

The Philippine office of the ride-hailing giant issued the statement after the NPC issued a cease and desist order after finding deficiencies in complying with the Data Privacy Act of 2012 for the three personal data processing systems, which may endanger the privacy rights of the riding public.

In a Notice of Deficiencies issued to Grab Philippines, the NPC said the company did not sufficiently identify and assess the risks posed by the data processing systems to the rights and freedoms of data subjects, saying that “only the risks faced by the company were taken into account” in its Privacy Impact Assessment.

“The video recording system will also enable Grab employees to monitor the situation live from the Grab office and take photos of what is happening inside the vehicle, once the drive prompts the office through an emergency button,” the notice reads.

The NPC also claims that Grab failed to mention its legal basis in processing the collected data.

But Grab said the passenger selfie feature and pilot study for in-car audio and video recording were introduced as pioneering safety technology features with the aim of further protecting the ride-hailing community.

“These features follow the legal criteria for lawful processing of data,” Grab said.

Grab Philippine has 15 days to comply with the remedial measure directed in the notice. The lifting of the cease and desist order, however, will be decided by NPC on a per-system basis.

“While this commission believes that the security of passengers and drivers is a primordial concern, their privacy rights must not be disregarded. It must be protected with earnestness by ensuring that the purpose of data processing is clearly stated, the data flow is secured, and the risks are properly identified and mitigated,” the NPC said. –