Stringent LTA Installation Guidelines for Inward-Facing In-Vehicle Recording Devices to Safeguard Commuters’ Personal Data

News Releases
22 May 2018

            The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has published a set of installation guidelines for inward-facing in-vehicle recording devices (IVRDs) in public service vehicles (PSVs) such as taxis, private hire cars (PHCs) and buses[1].The guidelines will come into effect on 22 June 2018.

2             LTA’s guidelines complement the Personal Data Protection Commission’s (PDPC) Advisory Guidelines on in-vehicle recordings[2], which clarify the obligations under the Personal Data Protection Act that operators and drivers of transport services for hire must comply with when they use inward-facing IVRDs to capture individuals’ personal data. Together, these guidelines serve to protect commuter safety and their personal data, and prevent unauthorised access to the footage recorded by inward-facing IVRDs.

Key guidelines for installation of inward-facing IVRDs

3             PSV owners must obtain LTA’s approval to install inward-facing IVRDs. Approved installations can only be carried out at LTA-authorised installation centres[3]. This is to ensure that the inward-facing IVRDs are installed according to the manufacturer’s requirements and LTA’s requirements, and to prevent the inward-facing IVRDs from being tampered with. Some key requirements that the LTA-authorised installation centres have to adhere to include:

a.            IVRDs must be secured in such a manner that prevents any unauthorised access to and downloading of the stored data (e.g. locking the memory card slot, blocking the micro USB port).

b.            IVRDs must be installed in a fixed position and cannot be rotated in order to prevent the capture of compromising visual records of commuters.

c.             IVRDs must not have any audio recording function so that the passengers’ conversations are not recorded

d.            All footage created by the IVRD must clearly indicate a date and time stamp, as well as the PSV’s licence plate number to facilitate investigations in the event of misuse of the footage.

Please refer to the Annex for the full list of requirements.

4             PSV owners that have installed inward-facing IVRDs at LTA-authorised installation centres will be required to affix a notice notifying passengers of the inward-facing IVRD in the PSV. In addition, booking service operators must inform commuters if a PSV installed with an inward-facing IVRD is being dispatched to them. PSV owners will also be required to carry out periodic checks to ensure that the inward-facing IVRDs have not been tampered with, and must report any indication of tampering or non-compliance with LTA’s guidelines to LTA immediately.

Restrictions on access to footage

5             Drivers who wish to use LTA approved installed inward-facing IVRDs must obtain the written permission of the Registrar. Drivers will be subjected to further stringent guidelines on the use of installed IVRDs.

6             There will be restricted access to the footage recorded by inward-facing IVRDs. Government agencies and LTA-authorised data controllers[4] will be allowed to access the footage to support investigations and enforcement efforts e.g. cases of fare evasion by commuters, or alleged offences by the driver. The data controllers will be required to follow stringent guidelines including requirements such as putting in place proper safeguards on the storage and access to the footage and ensuring that only authorised personnel have access to the footage.

7             Interested parties may approach LTA to apply to be an authorised installation centre, or independent data controller, or both.

Penalties

8             Under the Road Traffic Act, LTA will impose the following penalties to persons found liable for offences relating to the unauthorised installation of inward-facing IVRDs and the unauthorised access of visual records:-

a.            A fine up to $1,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or both upon conviction. In the case of a second or subsequent offence, a fine up to $2,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both upon conviction.

b.            For taxi and PHC drivers – 21 demerit points, which may lead to the revocation of the driver’s vocational licence under the Chauffeured Private Hire Car and Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence Demerit Points System.

c.             For drivers of private hire buses, excursion buses and school buses – LTA may revoke their vocational licences.


 

 

[1] The guidelines do not apply to omnibuses that are licensed to operate regular route services (e.g. SBST and SMRT buses) and private buses (e.g. company buses used to ferry its own employees).

[2] The Personal Data Protection Commission’s (PDPC) Advisory Guidelines on In-Vehicle Recordings by Transport Services for Hire, are available at www.pdpc.gov.sg/Legislation-and-Guidelines/Guidelines.

[3] These could include for example, taxi companies or LTA-authorised inspection centres.

[4] This could include for example, taxi companies.