Grab selfie verification, audio-video recording suspended: privacy watchdog

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2020 12:11 PM | Updated as of Feb 05 2020 04:33 PM

A commuter waits for a ride at a Grab pick-up point in Manila. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA (UPDATE) -- The National Privacy Commission said Wednesday it suspended Grab's selfie verification and in-vehicle audio and video recording systems for failure to sufficiently identify risks to consumers.

The ride-hailing platform identified only the risks to the company and failed to "sufficiently identify" risks to "rights and freedoms of data subjects," the commission said in a statement. It was given 15 days to reply.

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

Through the video recording system, Grab can take photos of the interior of the vehicle once the driver pushes an emergency button that prompts the Grab office, the commission said.

Grab, according to the commission, said photo, audio and video collected through the system would be released to police authorities on request to aid in the resolution of disputes and complaints.

The commission said Grab failed to cite legal basis for processing collected data. Documents submitted failed to establish whether the data was "proportional" to the intended purpose, whether benefits outweighed risks and whether it was the best solution considering other alternatives.

Grab said the same "pioneering technology features" are also being tested in key areas in Southeast Asia.