The problem with retrofitting GDPR and data privacy to fleet management

In the post-GDPR times we live in, driver privacy is quite rightly one of the most important requirements for companies when deciding on their approach to driver safety and fleet risk management solutions.

Many telematics companies, for the past few years, have been working to make their solutions compliant with these mandatory regulatory requirements particularly as driver safety focus moves beyond commercial vehicles to consider the mobile workforce as a whole.

One of the biggest challenges for many telematics companies has been ultimately trying to remove, suppress or somehow block some of their most fundamental features like geo-tracking.

Retrofitting privacy to traditional telematics solutions is at best extremely difficult and at worst more of a procurement box-ticking exercise. Geo-tracking is ultimately in their DNA because of how they have always monitored the vehicle, and therefore driver activities!

In navigating this landscape, we are fortunate that our mission from Day 1 with Brightmile has been to consider privacy as a core feature for the modern business driver. Indeed, privacy is a feature that is fundamental to delivering both high levels of driver adoption and also ongoing engagement.

To achieve these goals, we have found that we need to consistently dial-up, over-communicate and promote driver privacy in our app to ensure that we can overcome all pre-existing biases and past negative experiences.

The analogy we often use here is that we want to be what mobile-first banks are to conventional banks. We should be viewed as a driver and privacy first safety solution vs conventional fleet telematics solutions. At times, this has meant that we have had to say no to some customers with wider Fleet Telematics needs, holding firm to our design principles and losing some deals to traditional competitors in order to win the hearts and minds of drivers.

As a forward-thinking, driver and privacy-focused solution, we make a promise to our drivers that we will:

  • Never share the location of a driver with their company (neither in real time nor after the event)

  • Never encroach on personal time (only report on driver performance on business trips)

  • Give the driver complete control to classify trips as business or personal (and re-classify where they need to up to 12 weeks after the trip)

  • Offer a 'privacy mode' for when they need to go completely off the grid

All of the above, coupled with rewarding good driving with gamification and prizes, means we are winning the hearts and minds of drivers. A recent survey we conducted with our drivers showed that more than 70% would be disappointed not to have Brightmile in their lives.

Let's hope in the coming months, with our continued investment in new features and rewards we can report an even bigger percentage of business drivers who genuinely value Brightmile as a way to make them safer drivers and reward them for this!

There might be one important question on your mind. How do you stop a driver 'gaming' the system and hiding their worst driving? Contact us to learn more.

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