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How to handle driver privacy with fleet tracking from Trakm8

Fleet tracking and fleet telematics software can be powerful tools for businesses to boost operational efficiency, improve safety, and cut costs. Many modern systems can accurately track entire fleets from anywhere in the world, monitor driving habits to optimise fuel use and safety, and help to coordinate fleets in the most effective ways possible.

But with all this data comes the inevitable challenge of privacy. Whether it’s regarding individual rights to personal data or security and storage concerns, large quantities of data need to be handled in a responsible way, as well as in compliance with any relevant data protection and privacy laws.

So how should your business approach the challenge of privacy when it comes to fleet tracking and fleet telematics?

Well, there are a few key best practices that any business can and should follow when collecting data using fleet tracking technology. In this article, we look at some of the simplest ways to ensure your company has a strong data privacy culture. Whether you’re managing just a handful of vehicles or a multinational fleet of thousands, these tips can help you to avoid potential issues and manage your data, and that of your drivers, more effectively.

What are the privacy challenges with fleet tracking and fleet telematics?

Data privacy has always been an important concern for any business, but the complexity of the challenges associated with data is increasing all the time. With the proliferation of digital technology and automated data collection, there has never been such a wealth of data being collected and stored.

In the context of fleet tracking, this is particularly true. The devices and software used for fleet tracking and fleet tracking systems constantly gather and store information about vehicle location and driving behaviour, dashcam videos, and so on, all of which can produce enormous quantities of data.

Across all industries, the huge amounts of data being generated have led to governments amping up regulation for data security, collection, usage, disclosure, and more, creating legal pressure in addition to the ethical pressure to handle data responsibly.

How to handle privacy when using fleet tracking

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to collecting and handling data when using fleet tracking systems, but there are some general tips that every business can follow. Below are some of the key best practices to consider when using fleet tracking and fleet telematics software.

Be upfront

Being proactive and open about the types of things you’re tracking is paramount to any fleet tracking operation. In the UK, and in many other countries around the world, it is illegal to track business vehicles and driver activity without a driver’s knowledge. Beyond the legal requirements, it is also good business practice to be as open as possible with drivers to avoid conflict over privacy concerns.

Additionally, while you can conceal tracking devices from view, you should always be open with drivers about the types of devices installed in specific vehicles.

Have a robust privacy policy

Every business using fleet tracking systems should have a thorough, transparent, and written privacy policy in place before collecting data. Any good policy should cover details about what you will be tracking, how you will store and protect the data, why you need to track the data, and the business case for any tracking. Additionally, you should include the policy for cases where telematics devices are tampered with or data is stolen.

Your policy should be clearly communicated to drivers and provided to them in writing.

Use privacy-optimised devices

A helpful pre-emptive measure is to install telematics devices with integrated privacy and security features. Not all devices are equipped with privacy features, so it’s important to ask the right questions and shop around. Trakm8, for example, offers privacy-optimised devices with an inbuilt button for drivers to instantly switch between business and personal journeys, toggling tracking on and off as needed.

Use privacy-optimised software

In addition to driver-controlled privacy settings, using privacy-optimised software can also help to ensure privacy concerns are covered. For example, you could set your fleet tracking software to only collect data during designated working hours. This kind of automated privacy is simple to set up, takes very little effort to maintain, and is very effective in consistently addressing privacy-related challenges. Look for fleet tracking systems with a high degree of customisability to ensure you can implement specific tracking policies.

Be aware of relevant laws

Laws are constantly changing, and some of these changes can be very significant, as in the case of GDPR, which had a huge impact on businesses of all kinds around the globe. Privacy is a highly political topic and regulatory changes can happen unexpectedly, so it’s vital that you keep informed and up to date about developments that may affect your business and your fleet tracking practices.

Privacy-conscious fleet tracking, with Trakm8

In today’s digital, data-driven business world, privacy challenges associated with GPS fleet tracking and fleet telematics can seem overwhelming. It’s important that you understand your obligations, have a clear privacy policy, and remain transparent with your drivers.

But having the right technology can also help to simplify privacy and compliance with laws.

Trakm8 offers a wide range of privacy-optimised devices, customisable software, and advice to help you keep drivers informed and in control of their personal data. Read more in our Guide to Fleet Tracking.

Talk to our team today to learn more about driver privacy and fleet tracking.

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