Addressing Privacy Concerns in Driver Risk Management

Originally published in Fleet Management Weekly 12/09/2020

By Ed Dubens, CEO/Founder of eDriving

Today, data security and privacy compliance are among the most important considerations for practically every business. For that reason, when reviewing Digital Driver Risk Management solutions, data security and privacy compliance are critical components of the assessment and planning phase, and can even be the deciding factor in whether a program is adopted or not.

In many countries across Europe, in Canada and parts of Australasia and Latin America, organizations must seek input and/or approval from employee representatives such as Works Councils or Unions for the introduction and application of new operational processes, technical equipment and software. The purpose of Works Councils and Unions is to protect employees’ rights. German Works Councils, in particular, are well-known for their rigorous standards in relation to employee data.

How does this affect organizations looking to protect the safety of those driving for work purposes? It means that any company obliged to seek such approval for a new driver safety program, will need to justify the implementation of the program, and prove it complies with relevant data protection and privacy laws.

Considerations may include compliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA); Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA); the recently adopted Brazil General Data Protection Law (LGDP); or the forthcoming New Zealand Privacy Act that comes into force on 1st December 2020. Privacy notices, HR agreements, data storage, how location data is used, and so on will be important discussion points.

As many eDriving clients have rolled out our Digital Driver Risk Management Program, Mentor, in multiple geographical locations since Q1 2018, we’ve identified the most prevalent concerns in many different countries, and how to best help organizations address such concerns, not only with leadership and Works Councils, but also with drivers. We’ve also discovered that the word “telematics” in particular, can sometimes trigger privacy alarm bells, and we’ve learned that addressing concerns about such programs from the outset is usually the most effective way to allay any fears. Common privacy concerns include “is this a surveillance or tracking tool?”, “is location/GPS data visible to anyone other than the driver?”, and “how is driver information shared and with who, both inside and outside the organization?”

Any organization looking to introduce a driver risk management and safety program should not let privacy and data protection concerns stop them in their tracks; after all, an effective driver safety program is there for the benefit of employees, their families and the communities in which they live and work, and is a means of managing road safety proactively. Similarly, no program should ever be intended as a surveillance tool, or as a means of introducing negative consequences for being part of the program.

Questions for organizations seeking approval for a driver safety program may include:

  • How will the program reduce incidents, collisions, license violations and injuries to employees driving for work purposes?
  • Is it GDPR/CCPA/PIPEDA/LGDP/Privacy Best Practice compliant?
  • How and where is driver PII (Personally Identifiable Information) data stored and processed?
  • What information is shared with line manager/HR/safety/peers?
  • What information is sent to leadership and/or Corporate teams?
  • What information, if any, is shared with other 3rd parties?
  • Who is the Data Controller and Owner of the program data?
  • What are the Privacy rights of the driver?
  • Is location/GPS information shared?
  • Is the program tailored to meet the needs and privacy laws of different regions/countries?
  • How does the program support High Risk Vs Medium Risk Vs Low Risk Drivers and is the approach sensitive to privacy strategies?

Of course, it is also important to remember the reason for looking to implementing such a program. Every day around the world, almost 3,700 people are killed globally in crashes involving cars, pick-up, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, buses or pedestrians, according to the WHO. As anyone involved in at-work road safety and risk management knows, driving for work purposes is the most dangerous work activity that most people do. Around the world, governments, councils and other organizations are striving towards a long-term vision of zero fatalities and serious injuries on the roads. The implementation of a comprehensive Digital Driver Risk Management Program can help organizations align with this vision, helping them to provide and support a safe and healthy workplace, educate employees on potential hazards in the workplace, implement and enforce appropriate workplace health and safety policies, and do everything reasonable to protect work-related injuries and illness, and correct unsafe actions and conditions.

Discussing privacy concerns at the outset helps allay fears sooner and enables organizations to focus on their business objectives, safe in the knowledge that they are proactively managing a successful safe driving program that supports a much wider mission of safer roads for all.

About the Author
Ed’s passion is helping companies proactively manage driver risk and prioritize the safety of their employees who drive for work purposes. The ultimate goal of eDriving’s programs is to help drivers return home safely to their loved ones and communities at the end of each day. Ed has been fortunate enough to be living out his passion for over 20 years, impacting lives and helping transform the field of driver risk management along the way.

eDriving’s Mentor program is a digital solution that collects and analyzes driver behaviors most predictive of crash risk and helps remediate risky behavior by providing engaging, interactive micro-training modules delivered directly to the driver in the smartphone app. As part of its broader risk management platform, Virtual Risk Manager®, eDriving provides organizations with everything they need to establish safety as a strategic imperative, and support drivers and managers as they strive to create a crash-free culture®.

eDriving is the driver risk management partner of choice for many of the world’s largest organizations, supporting over 1,000,000 drivers in 96 countries. Over the past 24 years, eDriving’s research-validated programs have been recognized with over 90 awards around the world. Learn more at