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Fleets Informed

Fleets Informed

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Who owns driver & vehicle data?

New campaign group calls for authorities to heed concerns over privacy on telematics information and produce legislation

It seems like only yesterday that ALD launched its first in-vehicle telematics solution and yet, over the past 12 years, the industry has seen a seismic shift.

Initially greeted with concern over the costs involved as well as drivers’ own ‘big-brother’ suspicions, telematics technology has become an integral part of the fleet management industry, enabling fleets to cut operating costs, enhance CSR credentials, reduce risk and improve business efficiency.

Meanwhile, drivers have also overcome their privacy concerns and embraced benefits including reduced fuel bills and simple expense reporting, helped by developments such as ProFleet2’s driver consent controls.

But it’s now, as we fully enter the era of the connected car, that the benefits are really becoming apparent. According to a study published by management consultancy Oliver Wyman, as many as 80% of all vehicles sold worldwide will be ‘connected’ in 2016 and the latest research from over 500 of our customers’ company car drivers has already shown a huge appetite for such technology.

Over one third of respondents saw the main benefits as being traffic updates, dynamic route guidance and accident alerts, with message narration, local amenities reporting and vehicle service reminders/booking facility seen as other primary benefits.

But while connected cars represent huge opportunities for the automotive industry, they also bring huge challenges, including cyber security – the past year has brought several instances of security experts deliberately hacking into vehicles to expose vulnerabilities and force the car industry to take action.

Dominating the headlines of late though has been the issue of how data on driver Iand vehicles is being collected and who owns it, as highlighted by the My Car, My Data campaign launched by global automotive body FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile).

The campaign follows a public survey that found 90% of respondents, covering 12 European countries, said that vehicle data belongs to the owner or driver of the vehicle.

The biggest concerns were over the disclosure of private information (88%), commercial use of personal data (86%), as well as vehicle hacking and unauthorised vehicle tracking. In fact, 95% of people surveyed believed that there was a need for specific legislation to protect their rights to their vehicle and driver data.

In response, My Car, My Data is looking to raise public awareness on the issue and to call for privacy legislation and a fair after-market for connected vehicle services.

Already, manufacturers in Europe have taken action, with umbrella organisation ACEA setting out five principles of data protection for the industry to adhere to.

The BVRLA has also called for action, including fair and lawful processing of data in advance of the introduction of new EU data protection laws, due out this year.

As a key player in the telematics industry and a strong advocate of driver privacy, we believe there is an urgent need for action to be taken.

Putting vehicle owners and drivers in charge of their data will help reinforce confidence in a technology that will revolutionise the fleet industry and the car market in general.


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