In our little island country where ride-hailing businesses such as Transcab, Grab and Gojek thrives, it naturally also means that a lot of Singaporeans find work as drivers for these services as the job demand is high.
While it may seem easier or more comfortable to be able to drive around in one’s own car as a job, it can be a dangerous world in the confined, private space of a car as well.
Passengers might cause harm to the driver or even yell at the driver about how she’s being kidnapped because the car has an auto-lock function and if it’s because she’s Chinese.
As such, safety and protection within cars that many strangers go into (it sounds more shady and dangerous when you think about it like this) has become a hot topic recently, with more people believing that further measures should be put in place.
Yes To Inward-Facing Car Cameras
In a survey done by Reach, the national feedback and engagement unit under the Ministry of Communications and Information, 1000 Singaporeans aged 15 and above were asked about their views on inward facing in-vehicle recording devices (IVRDs), or in-car cameras.
Results found that most Singaporeans agreed with the fact that installing these cameras in taxis, private-hire vehicles and limousines can help to protect passengers and drivers and believe that they should be allowed to do so.
As A Form Of Protection
When respondents were asked if they thought these in-car cameras can help to protect drivers or commuters from inappropriate or violent behaviour, 76% of them agreed it could protect both. 10% said it would protect drivers, 3% said it would protect commuters, and 6% said it would not help anyone.
64% of the respondents also agreed that taxis, private-hire cars and limousines should be allowed to have inward-facing car cameras installed. Out of the 64%, almost all of them at 91% agreed that both video and audio recording should be allowed.
So, minimising the pool even further, 93% of those who said that both video and audio recording should be allowed felt that it was needed to enforce against inappropriate and/or violent behaviour and deal with fare-related disputes.
41% of them also indicated that they felt there were already sufficient regulations to safeguard privacy and avoid data leakage in the question that allowed multiple answers. Better yet, 25% didn’t really care if their conversations or faces were recorded in video recordings or not.
Video Recording Is Actually Allowed
Since June last year, taxis, private-hire cars and limousines were actually already allowed to have in-car cameras installed in them, but they just cannot have the audio recording function so that passengers’ conversations will not be recorded.
Owners of such cars also have to comply with LTA rules and visit LTA-authorised installation centres after getting permission from LTA to install the cameras. This will ensure that the cameras are secured, data will not be downloaded without permission, and the video footage will only be available for no more than seven days.
The cameras have to be in a fixed position and regular checks have to be carried out in addition to there needing to be a notice in the car to inform passengers that there are cameras in the vehicle.
It’s quite troublesome and there are many rules, but oh well, it’s gotta be done for data protection purposes.
The viral Gojek uncle even got issued a warning for the unauthorised recording and sharing of the video where the Chinese lady was making a big fuss, so you can probably tell they take this super seriously.
Next time you Grab a car, make sure to pose nicely for the camera.