SINGAPORE — Grab, the popular ride-hailing platform, has announced the trial of a new safety feature called AudioProtect in Singapore starting 21 March.
The feature allows both passengers and drivers to record audio during rides via the Grab app, provided both parties consent to it. To enable AudioProtect, passengers and driver-partners must activate the feature in their Account Safety Settings on the Grab app.
It will be available for all Grab rides, except GrabShare and GrabHitch.
Once both parties enable AudioProtect, passengers will see “AudioProtect: On” in the app, indicating that the recording has begun as the ride starts. If a passenger answers a phone call, the recording will pause and resume automatically after the call ends. However, the recording may continue on the driver’s device.
AudioProtect will be activated for all future rides if the other party has enabled the feature, and it can be disabled before a ride starts. If disabled after a ride has begun, the ride will still be recorded for safety purposes, and the feature will be disabled for future rides.
To protect user privacy, recorded audio files are encrypted and stored on devices for a maximum of five days before being automatically deleted if no safety-related incidents are reported. Neither passengers nor drivers can access the files, which will only be accessed by Grab’s safety team if a safety-related incident occurs.
If such an incident is reported within the five-day period, the recording will be uploaded to Grab’s secure servers for investigation. These files will be securely stored for six months, after which they will be permanently deleted from Grab’s servers. The review of the recordings will be conducted by approved and trained members from the safety team.
Grab has said that it designed AudioProtect to provide users with peace of mind during rides by proactively deterring in-person safety incidents and allowing for quicker incident resolution.
Safety incidents that would be investigated include accidents and instances of verbal, physical, and sexual harassment or abuse.