“The use of vehicle tracking systems involves the collection of personal data as they record the location of the individual in charge of a vehicle at any particular time”. In particular, the office has made it clear that vehicle tracking devices are not employee tracking devices.
This highlights the focus on ensuring your business is complaint in terms of Data Protection laws, which are the primary concern in respect of using GPS (Global Positioning Systems) in company vehicles.
It is therefore critical that a company has a clear policy on the use of tracking devices. There must be a good and genuine commercial reason (objective justification) for the use of these tracking devices. The device should not be used except for the stated purposes.
In terms of rolling out such devices, it is advisable there is a lead in time to implementation, and if unionised, that it is advisable that it is done in consultation with your recognised Union.
If the vehicle is used for non-work purposes (i.e. outside of work time and for personal reasons) there should be a ‘privacy switch’ or some other means of turning off the device. This should be discussed in the policy and training provided in turning it off (if required). Again, this is in respect of Data Protection (privacy) of the ‘data subject’ (employee). Naturally, if the vehicle is not used for non-work purposes then there does not need to be a ‘privacy switch’.
As per normal Data Protection conditions; data collected via these tracking devices should only be kept for as long as is necessary.
Sample GPS Tracking Policy
The purpose of the GPS Tracking Policy is to highlight the scope and use of our GPS (Global Positioning System) across the [COMPANY NAME] fleet. GPS is an automated system of tracking location of single or fleets of vehicles.
All staff that drive company vehicles.
The use of such tracking equipment is a commercial necessity. The purpose of this tracking system is [INSERT] (i.e. record time travelled, protect against theft, etc). [ELABORATE ON PURPOSE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AS SHOULD JUSTIFY USE OF THE GPS)
[Note: The GPS may not be used for any purpose not listed in the GPS Tracking Policy. Therefore, if, for example, the GPS may be used for disciplinary purposes this must be provided for here in the policy].
The company ensures that the privacy rights of the employee will be respected as a part of this policy.
[Note: If personal (non-work related) use of the vehicle is permitted it should be possible to turn off the tracker or fit a privacy switch. Employees should be trained on how to turn off the tracker/ the operation of the privacy switch. Insert details of this here if relevant]
All information gained through GPS will be in line with current Data Protection legislation. Data will be held for [X] months.
This policy will be reviewed from time to time to take into account changes in the law and the experience of the policy in practice. Employees should contact [insert name] should they have any queries on the operation of the GPS Tracking Policy.
Ibec Knowledge Centre
Wednesday, 24 January 2018