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Do I have to tell my employees that their vehicle is geolocated?

Many companies decide to track their cars or other company vehicles (two-wheelers, trucks, vans, construction equipment, etc.) and thus proceed with the legal procedures in order to be able to track a fleet of vehicles in all legality.

Whether or not the employees agree with the company to track their vehicles in real time, the company is totally free to use this fleet geolocation process for the management of its vehicles. It must respect the framework of the right to privacy and the right to personal data, but in no case does the labor law exclude any surveillance of the work of employees in the course of their duties through their vehicle.
However, when there are disagreements with employees and staff representatives on this type of system, the question that every employer is likely to ask is “is it compulsory to warn employees that their vehicle is geolocated?”. The answer is systematic, it is mandatory to warn employees that their vehicle has a GPS tracker, whatever it is.

Géolocalisation d véhicules d'entreprise

How do I notify my employees that their vehicle contains a GPS tracker?

In order to warn the company’s employees that GPS trackers are going to be placed in their vehicles, a certain amount of information must be disseminated to the employees and the staff representatives, once the geolocation system has been chosen. This is not an easy step to take, since employees may feel that their privacy is being violated. This is why precise rules are put in place to respect the rights and duties of each party, both for the company and for the employee, in order to frame the process. Moreover, the final objective of the company car monitoring must be legal and licit, and be admissible by the CNIL.

To know: The employee has the right to object to the installation of a GPS tracker in his company car if he considers that the purposes are not in line with those proposed by the CNIL

Notify employee representatives of the implementation of a geolocation system in company vehicles

The passage through the staff representatives is very important. Indeed, they are the voice of the people working in the company. Although it is mandatory to consult them when possible (a company with more than 11 employees), it is not mandatory to have their agreement in order to implement GPS trackers in the company car fleet. Indeed, it is a simple consultation.

The announcement to the staff representatives has a double objective:

Mandatory consultation before the implementation of the tracking system

The company must consult the staff representatives and trade unions at least twice in the process of setting up GPS trackers. The first consultation serves to announce the implementation of the chosen monitoring system.

The second consultation should be more comprehensive. The company must give all details and information about the implementation of GPS trackers in cars:

  • which employees will benefit from the GPS trackers?
  • what will be the settings of the GPS trackers?
  • which GPS tracker has been chosen?
  • what time slots will the trackers be in operation?
  • how can the GPS trackers be deactivated?
  • etc.
Consultation des représentants du personnel

The employee representatives will have a 15-day period during which they can examine all aspects of your proposal. After this period, they will be able to give their feedback, make other proposals, question or even refuse to allow the company to equip vehicles with geolocation systems if they believe that the purposes of the tracking are not legal.

Gauge the mood of employees who will be geotagged

When the company announces to employee representatives its intention to place GPS trackers in its fleet of vehicles, it will have an initial idea of how employees will react to this change, which can be brutal for some people.
In this way, the company will be able to gauge the state of mind of the employees and consequently adapt an adequate communication strategy according to the reactions.

Tell employees that their vehicle will be tracked by a GPS tracker

Even if the GPS tracker can be hidden in the vehicle, it is mandatory for the company to inform employees that it will be placing GPS trackers in company cars, and to specify all the details.

The employer must inform the employees orally and in writing. Indeed, it is recommended to hear explanations in person so that employees can understand and question the employer in case of misunderstanding. Employees will be able to speak more easily and share their views with the rest of the staff. Indeed, in a community we can find a set of totally different characters: some don’t dare to ask questions, while others express themselves quite openly, some have no problem with the idea of being geolocated while others are more anxious. Stay open to each employee and to each different profile.

Présentation du système de géolocalisation aux salariés

Detail the positive points of geolocation. Geolocation offers the company a time saving in the management of its fleet of vehicles and a better efficiency from the employees. Indeed, some platforms associated with GPS trackers offer automated inventories of vehicles, including through reports of entries and exits of areas. It is also possible in some cases to know quite precisely the working hours and to adapt the pay slips according to this (justification of overtime, payment of kilometers traveled, etc.).

Employees can also see the benefits of GPS trackers, such as increased efficiency, safety or money (overtime worked, etc.). Nevertheless, the company will also have to address the concerns of employees: they may feel permanently observed and lose confidence in the company.

document présenté sur le tableau d'affichage de l'entreprise

In order to summarize everything that has been said verbally and to keep an official written record of the implementation of the geolocation system, a letter must be written. This letter will be posted in the company’s premises and will be sent to each employee. Moreover, it can be attached to the employment contract in case of a new contract and displayed on the company’s notice board.

Mandatory information to be provided to geolocated personnel

According to the CNIL, each employee must be informed of the following information before their vehicle can officially be geolocated.
If the company has not taken care to inform its employees of all the modalities, the latter can object to the implementation of GPS trackers or ask for damages.

Identification of the data controller

The company must designate a person (or several persons) in charge of processing the data received by the GPS trackers in the vehicles of the company’s fleet. It can be the employer himself, the human resources manager, etc.

The purposes of geolocation

The purposes of the geolocation of company cars must respect rules to protect privacy, the RGPD regulation as well as abuse by the employer. This can be for example the control of the respect of the rules regarding the use of the vehicle (not using the vehicle on weekends or outside working hours). However, certain purposes are excluded, for example permanent control or speed control.

The legal basis of the system

The company must inform its employees of the legal basis of the geolocation system, as well as the rules to be respected, both on the employer’s side and on the employees’ side.

The recipients of the data

In order to maintain absolute security of the data collected by the GPS trackers for cars, it is necessary to designate the recipient of the data. This data will not be distributed or disclosed according to the RGPD regulation of data storage and the data rights of GPS trackers.

The duration of data storage

The data can only be kept for a certain period of time, usually 2 months. However, depending on the case and the purpose of the geolocation, this period can be extended to 1 or 2 years.

Suivis des véhicules par l'entreprise

The right to object for legitimate reasons

Employees and staff representatives can object to the installation of GPS trackers in their company vehicles if there is a legitimate reason. Indeed, the company must respect its duties towards its employees, and the latter can denounce abuses.

For example, if employees realize that in practice the announced purposes are different from the real ones, they can ask to stop the geolocation of their vehicle.
Another example is if employees cannot turn off their GPS tracker when they go home, in case their vehicle is provided 24 hours a day, there is an abuse of the right to disconnect.

Access and rectification rights

Employees must be able to access the interface and their GPS data. They have the right to consult, justify, modify or delete. If this is not simply possible, they can ask the controller.

The possibility to introduce a rectification to the CNIL

The CNIL establishes the rules to be respected when a company decides to install a fleet geolocation system. It is therefore possible to introduce a rectification, even once the geolocation has been set up.