If your company uses vehicle tracking devices there are a number of rules and regulations that apply.
It is important to understand the underlying vehicle tracking laws and what their implications are. As an employer, you need to know your obligations towards your employees and your rights in tracking data. Failing to comply can lead to fines and convictions.
A GPS tracker installed in the vehicle collects data on time, date, speed and locations. Timely analysis of this data can provide employers with daily reports of performance. This allows them to make faster and more informed decisions. Most of these benefits are drawn from the fact that employers can track their employees. This can be considered as ‘spying’ or ‘infringement of privacy’ if not done properly, so to protect employees from their employers and any misuse of personal data, there are some established Vehicle Tracking Laws.
It is completely legal for a company to track their own business vehicles. However, the collected data must only be used for the management purposes of the company. Tracking devices are not in place to track employees at their workplace – they are there to track vehicle movement. If the data gathered is used for observing employee behaviour, the company is in breach with the vehicle tracking law and risks fines and penalties.
Sometimes business vehicles are used for personal use by employees. An employer may install a GPS tracking device in business vehicles that are used for private purposes. However, when the employee is contractually entitled to use the vehicle for personal use outside of working hours, the GPS tracker must be turned off. Privacy tracking can be avoided by use of a “privacy button”. This button allows the employee to turn off the data collection and ensure that they are not being monitored outside of their working hours – but ONLY if the employee is contractually entitled to use the vehicle for private mileage away from work. If this is not the case then the tracker can be left enabled throughout.
Covert tracking means hiding a tracking device in a vehicle. A reason for hiding a device might be to prevent theft. This is allowed only with the driver’s consent and knowledge of what kind of data is being collected. Employers may not insert a tracking device in a vehicle without the employee’s knowledge of it.
Always communicate thoroughly with employees before making any decision or changes regarding the vehicle tracking device. To avoid any confusion and mistakes, make sure that employees know and agree to where the device is and what, when and how it tracks.
There are multiple benefits that the data extraction from GPS trackers can provide such as:
• Real time tracking gives opportunities for faster assistance if employees are in need.
• Location data safeguards against theft, as the vehicle location is known. This often leads to discounts in theft insurance of up to 30%
• Employees are more aware of their driving, which can reduce accounts of speeding by 60%
• Overall employee efficiency can improve by 10% to 20%