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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46768
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My company is planning to fit a Telematics tracking devices

Customer Question

My company is planning to fit a Telematics tracking devices into my company car. The tracking cannot ever be switched off and will record everywhere I go, including out of working hours, and during my private life. The information is intended to be used for profiling my driving habits, and is subject to periodic review.
As I am the sole driver of this vehicle, it means that I am being tracked personally at all times, which I see as a violation of my privacy.
Is it legal to enforce this policy without my consent?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. So to confirm you are also allowed to use this vehicle for private use outside of work?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes that is correct. My contract of employment entitles me to a fully paid company car, for both company and private use. I am the sole driver of the vehicle.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is standard saloon car, not a HGV.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The starting point is that a company car is company property and an employer has a right to know its whereabouts. There are however certain procedures and guidelines that employers need to adhere to in order to keep within the law when undertaking such monitoring. Firstly, employees have a basic right to privacy under the Human Rights Act. One argument is that monitoring devices fitted to vehicles affect the employees’ right to privacy and is a breach of their basic human rights. Secondly, monitoring of vehicle movements where the vehicle is allocated to a specific driver and where information about the performance of the vehicle can be linked to a specific individual will fall within the scope of the Data Protection Act 1998. As such, the tracking data is likely to amount to ‘personal data’ under data regulation principles and be subject to certain regulations. The following is guidance published by the Information Commissioners Office, which deals with data protection rights:Where private use of a vehicle is allowed, monitoring its movements when used privately, without the freely given consent of the user, will rarely be justified;If the vehicle is for both private and business use, it ought to be possible to provide a ‘privacy button' or similar arrangement to enable the monitoring to be disabled during private use;Where an employer is under a legal obligation to monitor the use of vehicles, even if used privately, for example by fitting a tachograph to a lorry, then the legal obligation will take precedence. Employers are therefore encouraged to have a specific policy for the use of vehicle monitoring and to make employees aware of its existence. Where possible, the above principles should be applied to ensure privacy is maintained when the vehicle is used solely for private use. Generally, the most common way of dealing with privacy issues in such circumstances is through the introduction of a specific monitoring policy and a privacy feature on the vehicle. You are free to raise your concerns with your employer and discuss the above information, trying to reach an amicable resolution. You can either do this informally or by raising a formal grievance. Remember that you have certain rights in these situations and that your employer should act reasonably and justify their actions as far as possible. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should they refuse to accept any of the above points and keep the trackers, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi BenI have actually quoted the points you placed in bullets above to my employer already. It was almost word for word as written above. Their response was very curt, claiming that they do not need my consent and will be fitting the devices as soon as possible.I really need to know if I can take a stance against this, or if they can proceed legally without my consent.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
They can proceed without your consent – you cannot force them to remove the devices and if challenged in court usually you can only do so if you have suffered losses as a result of this, not if you simply do not like them being installed and even think they do not accord to the law. The only other option is the constructive dismissal route which I can discuss with you in more detail if needed.
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46768
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Constructive dismissal is not something I am being threatened with, but I am surprised the law will support personal and private data profiling, which to me appears to be a direct invasion of my privacy.Thanks for you time...
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Just to clarify - constructive dismissal is not something you get threatened with, it is a decision you make if you believe the employer has acted unreasonably and you believe you cannot continue working there. As to the legal side - the law does not support this as such - there are laws and principles that cover this and make it unlawful to a degree, but as you can see it is still a bit of a grey area and nothing specific in black and white that gives you specific rights - it is all in codes and guidance, so not strictly legally binding and whatever is in legislation is open to interpretation
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for clarifying things for me...
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, all the best

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