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Removing the 'Big Brother' mindset

GPS vehicle tracking is just one of many features provided by a fleet management system. While managers and executives enjoy the luxury of access to vehicle information such as speed and driver behaviour to servicing, repairs and maintenance; drivers and employees operating the company vehicles are primarily concerned with how the GPS feature affects their right to privacy.

Privacy is at the forefront of employees mind when operating company vehicles which have GPS systems installed; especially if these vehicles are approved for personal use. Turning off a GPS device is not always possible so how do fleet managers deal with the ‘big brother is watching’ mentality.

A full understanding of employment and privacy legislation is crucial for businesses wanting to employ fleet management systems with GPS tracking functionality. Employees should be notified if they are operating a tracked vehicle and doing so not only reduces expectations of privacy but places the responsibility for further research onto the individual.

Employees who have the privilege of using a company vehicle for personal use will also have uncertainties regarding GPS tracking and their privacy. What needs to be made clear is that the approval for personal use (regardless of it’s used or not) results in businesses having to pay a fringe benefit tax and accountants need to be able to differentiate between a vehicles personal and professional mileage.

Again, a complete understanding of employment and privacy legislation is vital here so that businesses are operating within their rights and not infringing those of their staff. As not all GPS devices can be turned off, total transparency and communication regarding the vehicle information being monitored and reported outside of business hours will resolve privacy disputes.

To see how Pestrid Pest Control reacted to the ‘big brother’ mentality, click here.

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