Recording passengers on board taxis and private hire vehicles
Inward-facing cameras spark concerns over riders' privacy.
Cabbies and private-hire drivers can now use inward-facing cameras to record their passengers. The new guidelines, which were announced this week, have sparked debate on the issue of passengers’ privacy.
What’s going on?
It all started in 2015, when there were more incidents of fare evasion, disputes and unruly behaviour from passengers. The National Taxi Association then lobbied for the use of these devices to assist in official investigations.
After receiving feedback from taxi and car rental companies, the government issued new rules to allow use of In-Vehicle Recording Devices (IVRD) by transport services for hire.
The advisory included rules to ensure passengers are notified about the IVRD, and that drivers must never upload the footages on social media.
Passengers who have an issue with being recorded are advised not to use the transport service.
While this is seen as a victory for taxi and private-hire drivers, passengers are divided over the use of such cameras.
Some netizens agree that these cameras should be allowed on taxis and private-hire cars for security reasons.
Yasmin Whitlock, 20, a third-year Ngee Ann Polytechnic student, supports the move but expects drivers to be honest and responsible with the recordings.
The multimedia and animation student said: I feel it’s fair if drivers use inward facing cams, they need their own security against unlawful passengers. Passengers who do their own “private things” in a public space have no rights to complain for invasion of privacy.”
However, others have expressed concerns over passengers’ privacy.
Yusra Haidah, 17, a Meridian Junior College student, was concerned about entrusting so much private data into the hands of drivers.
“How would I, as a passenger, be protected from drivers who abuse my personal data? They have complete access to the recordings and can use it for their own pleasure. I would not feel comfortable with a camera recording me.”
What’s your take?
1. Are you supportive of taxis and private-hire cars using In-Vehicle Recording Devices? Why?