June 06, 2018
CAN FLEET GPS TRACKING BE LEGAL?
Written by Devon Tamagi
YES. IT IS LEGAL.
Canada and The United States share similar laws regarding the legality of GPS tracking devices for the purposes of improving an organizations operational capacities. A general rule to follow is; if the owner of the vehicle consents to the implementation of GPS tracking, then it is allowed. Typically it is the owner themselves who want to implement these devices, since most fleets are made up of company owned vehicles while employees drive them. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are some variations in privacy laws from state to state and province to province. Fleet managers should check their respective state/provincial level as well as federal laws before implementing GPS tracking into their fleet.
In Canada, the federal Privacy Commissioner stated that it is appropriate for companies to use GPS Tracking to manage their employees for the purposes of improving productivity and improving customer service. Optimizing the routing of drivers to job sites, regulating the behavior of drivers for safety purposes using in-cab coaching or reporting features, and ensuring proper billing for time worked, are all acceptable purposes for the presence of GPS Tracking Devices in company vehicles.
That being said, union employees may be able to use their collective agreement as grounds for challenging the implementation of GPS Tracking. Additionally, if an employee feels as if their privacy has been violated they can contact either the federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada or those who live in Alberta, Manitoba or Quebec can contact their provincial privacy commissions.
THE UNITED STATES
In the United States, individual States can override federal law when it comes to privacy and Fleet GPS Tracking. For example in California, it is a misdemeanor to track any person with an electronic device without their consent (even if the person being tracked does not own the vehicle). To be safe, check your local state laws to see what is allowed regarding GPS tracking.
Even though California has regulated the need for consent from an individual who will be tracked, we recommend all organizations do this anyways. Doing so would mean you're operating in good faith, which will strengthen the relationship between organization and employee. It is always preferable that they be informed openly and honestly rather than if they found out on their own.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT GPS FLEET TRACKING
There is a fine line between acceptable and unacceptable GPS Tracking. A clear, concise, and properly communicated GPS Tracking policy can go a long way in ensuring that employees know what they can and cannot do. Make sure to identify what constitutes a violation, how to avoid them, and the method of discipline or penalties that will incur if a company policy is breached. This lets employers identify what their expectations are, outlining what exact KPI's will be tracked. Simultaneously a proper GPS tracking policy means that if employees feel their employer is overreaching in their tracking ability, they will have a policy they can refer to. In short, a clear policy will protect both the employee and the organization.
Plug N Track GPS welcomes the opportunity to help you optimize your processes so you can begin saving and improving your profitability!