Emerging Legal and Privacy Issues for Fleets
Data generated by a connected vehicle includes information that is identifiable to the driver — this becomes a concern for multinational corporations operating fleets in different global regions that may have more stringent privacy regulations than the U.S.
“As the world becomes more unified in so many ways the need for protection of employee personal data becomes a stronger need. With the enactment of GDPR across the globe, how will you ensure that your drivers’ data is protected,” said Michael Bieger global fleet manager for Catholic Relief Services.
With policies such as the GDPR, the issue of potential regulatory, legal, and privacy issues associated with the collection and use of Big Data promises to grow in the future.
“On the horizon will be the new laws that could be passed around data generated from the newer cars and concerns about privacy. The state of California has a new law that went into effect in January 2020. This has caused some fleets to update communication to employees in California with respect to the new law. Commercial fleets have one year until they are impacted, but many of us are already having discussions on how to communicate to our California drivers,” said Bret Watson, Lifetime CAFM, manager, corporate fleet for Sprint.
Another potential issue is that the presentation of actionable data is forcing managers to respond to it. What is the potential liability exposure if they do not respond to actionable data, especially if it is discovered after-the-fact during litigation.
“As the more actionable information gets in the hands of fleet administrators and managers, the more it will be necessary to act on it. Bold and courageous decision making will need to take place to put into action the information obtained to keep people safe, optimize vehicle use, save money, and tailor solutions that benefit everyone that we serve,” said one anonymous fleet manager.
The question asked by other fleet managers is whether senior managers will be willing to act on actionable data that may be perceived as being controversial within the company.
“In particular, is there enough buy-in from key stakeholders to make uncomfortable decisions?” said a fleet manager who did not wish to be identified in the article.
Eliot Bensel, vice president of account development at CEI Fleet Driver Management had more to say about that topic.
“Are your fleet leaders prepared to make an uncomfortable decision once data is presented that proves that a process in play is not working? Will the fleet be willing to take corrective action on employees evenly? In today’s highly litigious society, the fleet must be able to move swiftly when a program is not doing enough to protect its employees, and corrective action against drivers must be handed out evenly, regardless of their position in the company. Am I prepared to do that? The answer has to be yes,” said Bensel of CEI.
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