Telematics | Is It Legal To Use GPS Tracking On Company Vehicles?

Is It Legal To Use GPS Tracking On Company Vehicles?

Wed, 14 July 2021

GPS tracking devices are 100% legal and can help improve fleet management for your business 

Using a vehicle tracking system helps improve business performance, but it can get your company in trouble if you don’t follow the law. 

There are some important things you need to do to ensure your business uses fleet tracking legally. Here, we explain exactly what they are, so you can stay on the right side of the law.

Discover the key legislation of GPS tracking and find out where you can get the right devices for your business.

What is vehicle tracking?

A delivery driver takes a package to a customer
Credit: Pixabay

Vehicle tracking is the monitoring of vehicles and/or other moving assets. A vehicle tracking system uses a transmitting device in the vehicle together with a website or app and other data to show you where the automobile is on a live map, in real time.

GPS technology is a vital part of vehicle tracking. A GPS device is fitted inside a vehicle and linked to satellite receivers, which transmit the location of the automobile to a tracking provider. This then transfers the information to the device that displays the vehicle position for you.

Is GPS tracking for company vehicles legal in the UK?

 A row of white vans are parked
Credit: PXHere

GPS tracking is 100% legal in the UK. Fleet businesses are allowed to track any company vehicle they use, so you’re aware of where they are at all times. 

However, the key is all the data you collect must be used for fleet management reasons. This means you must ensure the tracking devices aren’t used to track your employees at their place of work. 

Because GPS tracking is legally allowed, so long as it’s carried out correctly, you must be aware of the following legal issues that can come from using this technology: 

  • Tracking your staff: data collected can only be used for tracking business vehicles for company management purposes.
  • Trackers in privately used vehicles: your business cannot track employees during private time — you can only track during business hours.
  • Covert GPS tracking: employees must know there’s a tracker in their vehicle 

GPS jamming: this is the process of using a device to block communications and your business cannot employ this. While it’s legal to buy GPS jamming devices, it’s illegal to use them and you could be subject to a £5,000 fine if you use a jammer.

How to legally manage personal data collected by GPS tracking

 A black van is parked
Credit: Needpix

GPS tracking is completely legal but there are some legislative issues for you to manage if you want to use trackers to help your fleet management. 

These are the key legal issues and how you can manage them: 

  • Employee tracking: only track your staff to help support improvements in business performance to ensure the data is used for company purposes.
  • Vehicle tracking system: ensure privacy buttons are included when installing vehicle tracking devices used in your vehicles, and make sure your staff know how to use them.
  • Covert tracking: explain clearly to your employees what, when, and how tracking is being used by your company.
  • GPS jamming: ensure your data is protected by investing in a jammer detector that will alert you to any instances where GPS jamming is detected.

GPS tracking laws: Data Protection Act & Human Rights Act

 A white van is parked and the fleet manager knows
Credit: Wikimedia

It’s totally legal for you to use GPS tracking on your company vehicles. There are two key pieces of legislation that relate to UK vehicle tracking laws: the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act. 

These are the things you need to know about these two pieces of UK legislation (in respect to vehicle tracking): 

Data Protection Act

  • Considers personal data to be any information collected that has a circumstantial or direct impact on an employee.
  •  All staff data must be “processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’)”.

Human Rights Act

  • Article 8 protects “your [the employee’s] right to respect for your private life, your family life, your home and your correspondence (letters, telephone calls and emails, for example)”.
  • It is illegal for your business to misuse personal data obtained through data such as vehicle tracking.

iCompario can help you get the right GPS tracking device 

Get the right GPS tracking devices for your business by using iCompario. Compare the best telematics systems and pick the one that offers the right tracking software for your company.

iCompario is the free online marketplace for business products and services, where managers and owners can research and rapidly compare fuel cards, vehicle tracking systems, insurance, telecoms and other essentials. The team follows up online queries by telephone so every site visitor finds their ideal, future-proof product at the best price possible.

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