Jan 18, 2022

How Driver Privacy Switches Help with GDPR

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As a fleet manager, if your vehicles have trackers fitted, it is your duty to ensure that you are complying with all the relevant UK vehicle tracking laws. Some of the most important regulations you must adhere to are the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 (GDPR). In this guide, we will be explaining what the rules are when it comes to tracking your company vehicles and how driver privacy switches can help you comply with them.

What is GDPR and How Does this Affect My Fleet Tracking?

The use of vehicle tracking data in the UK falls under the category of personal processing data and is therefore governed by the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 (GDPR). The basic principles of GDPR expect adherence to the following principles relating to the processing of personal data:

  1. Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes.
  2. Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the proposals for which they are processed.
  3. Accurate and, where necessary, up to date. Every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that is inaccurate is erased or rectified without delay.
  4. Kept no longer than necessary, to fulfil its purpose.
  5. Processed along the lines of the individual’s human rights.
  6. Protected against unauthorised or unlawful use, loss or destruction.

To ensure compliance, organisations should maintain a vehicle tracking policy that is compliant with GDPR.

How Can I Ensure Our Vehicle Trackers Are Compliant?

In order to make sure you are fully compliant with GDPR, you must first of all ensure your drivers know their vehicles are fitted with tracking devices as it is illegal to track a vehicle if the driver is unaware that they are being tracked. Individuals must either agree to consent to the tracking devices explicitly or via a clause in their employment contract.

Similarly, it is essential that if you allow your drivers to make both business and personal trips in the company vehicles, you must only track and record data about their business trips as monitoring personal mileage could land you in trouble with GDPR.

How Can I Only Record My Vehicles’ Business Trips?

If you allow your drivers to use your vehicles for personal use as well as business use, you must create a clear distinction between the two and only gather information about the latter. This should be addressed in your Company Vehicle Policy.

At the very least, your company vehicle policy must provide information on the following four questions:

It is worth seeking advice from a legal expert when drawing up your company vehicle policy to ensure the above questions are answered in a way that complies with the relevant local laws and regulations.

How Do I Define What Counts as Business Trips and Private Trips?

According to a YouGov survey, over half (56%) of UK drivers are unaware of HMRC’s rules on reclaiming business mileage and the line between private and work-related journeys can become blurred easily. HMRC states that business mileage is any travel that employees make ‘wholly and exclusively’ for business purposes, such as:

HMRC has also stated that ordinary commuting journeys or any sort of private journey don’t constitute business mileage, even if the employee runs a work-related errand along the way.

How Can I Ensure I’m Not Recording Private Trips?

At Fleetsmart, we offer an optional add-on to our tracking devices called Driver Privacy Switches. When fitted, a driver can turn the switch on and off to ensure only their business trips are being tracked and recorded.

By installing these switches, you can help to make sure that you are only processing the data that is relevant to your company and not unlawfully collecting personal data that could put you at risk of being in breach of GDPR. A great way to ensure drivers use their privacy switch when they should is to include it as part of your company vehicle policy. This way, drivers know exactly what is expected of them and you will be fully compliant with GDPR.

For more information about how our vehicle tracking devices and option add-ons can help your fleet, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via 01942 356333.