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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My employer has fitted a gps tracking device to my company

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My employer has fitted a gps tracking device to my company car. The tracker records time, speed, driving style. It is always on, there is no privacy button for me to turn it off when i am not at work. The people who administer the data collected, take great delight in telling me where i have been, what speed i was travelling at etc outside of working hours. They also generally broadcast this around the office.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you have a specific question?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Have you not received the original question? Chris
Hello, I did see your original post but there was no question asked in it, just statements about your situation. Anyway I assume you want to know whether the employer’s actions are lawful. 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.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben, I should have made myself clearer. Thank you for the answer. Just to clarify things, my car Is hardly ever used for business. 90% of the time it is used privately. I have not given my concent for the car to be monitored. And as I understand the people who can access this data, have not received any training on data protection. As I mentioned before this data is now banter in the office. I am worried about raising this as a grievance, even though I have worked for this company for 8 years, as their policy seems to be 'we will manage you out if you don't like it.' If they are specifically breaking the law, or stretching the law is there anything advice you can offer?
There are potential breaches but a lot is down to guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office so to pinpoint it exactly and state in black and white they have breached a specific regulation will be more difficult. However, their conduct is likely to have breached some of the regulations. The issue is you cannot just take legal action directly and the grievance route is the best initial step. Whether you ant to go down that route as you know what the potential outcome may be is up to you but that is what the law offers you in terms of challenging them
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