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Personal Mode: Geotab’s new telematics Personal Mode feature

Privacy Mode: Geotab’s Telematics Privacy Feature
Author: Valeria Umanskaya, NPI Coordinator

Despite the many benefits of vehicle telematics, some drivers are still wary. There are many ways employers can overcome these objections, from debunking common telematics myths, to explaining the importance for driver safety and other areas of business operations. A telematics personal mode feature can be an additional incentive in companies whose employees use vehicles for both business and personal use. 

This blog post describes our new feature and answers some of the top questions users may have. 

What is Personal Mode?

Personal Mode is a feature in MyGeotab, which makes it possible for drivers or dispatchers to temporarily shield vehicle tracking. Fleets can use this feature to accommodate situations where drivers require intervals of privacy.  

What are the use cases for Personal Mode?

Example use cases for Personal Mode include:

  • Track During Work Hours Only: For employees allowed to use a work vehicle on personal time, the driver’s telematics device can be automatically set to Personal Mode for time outside of working hours.
  • Track in Specific Zones and Exclude Others: On work sites, construction fleets can track the GPS locations of workers to ensure they follow site-specific speed limits, then outside of work sites, their driving can be kept private.
  • Many more use cases apply.

Note that Personal Mode should be not be used with compliance features electronic logging / Hours of Service (HOS) or International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reporting. If you use Personal Mode, we do not recommend that you use the Data Science Package, as all data points captured by the telematics device in your vehicles will be made available without restriction in the Data Science Package.

How does Personal Mode work?

With this telematics Personal Mode feature, some data is hidden and some is not. When Personal Mode is enabled in MyGeotab, location features using GPS, such as position, trip data, and GPS speed-based profiles are not displayed in the fleet management application. GPS positions are immediately separated from the regular data flow and inaccessible in the user’s MyGeotab database, the SDK, and not available to any Geotab Reseller. 

Other features not using GPS, such as engine and accelerometer data are still displayed in Personal Mode, which is helpful for fleet optimization

Once set to Business, the Personal Mode feature will return to storing the incoming GPS data as usual.

How do I turn on Personal Mode?

There are three ways to use Personal Mode:

  1. Exception Rules — Set rule conditions to automatically turn Personal Mode on and off, e.g. after work hours rule.
  2. MyGeotab Application Add-InUse the free Personal Mode Add-In from the Geotab Marketplace, and set security clearances to manually toggle Personal Mode on and off in the MyGeotab fleet management application.
  3. Geotab Drive App Add-InUse the free Personal Mode Add-In for the Geotab Drive mobile app, and set security clearances to manually toggle Personal Mode on and off while using the Drive app. 

personal-mode

What does personal mode look like in MyGeotab? 

When Personal Mode is enabled for a vehicle, that portion of the trip will not be visible on the map in MyGeotab (see screenshot below). 

personal-mode-view

Is personal mode data deleted?

Driving data that is collected when the vehicle is in Personal Mode is stored in the database as “personal”.

However, if required, as in the case of compliance to regulations, a fleet can purge the data logged during Personal Mode. To do this, the MyGeotab administrator should can up the application to automatically and permanently delete personal trip data at specific time intervals, such as every 2 weeks, 6 months, or 1 year.

What is the value in storing personal GPS data? 

Storing private GPS data on a temporary basis is useful in some instances, for example:

  • Provide a driver who was in Personal Mode more details of their vehicle accident, which served as evidence to prove that the driver was not at fault.
  • Assist users in finding and recovering a stolen vehicle.

In both of these instances, it is easy to see the extremely high value of temporarily storing this data. 

Can I access personal data in the case of an accident?

If an accident occurs, private data can be extracted for the purposes of accident reconstruction. Fleets requesting access to private data in the case of accidents must demonstrate that they have received consent from the driver of the impacted vehicle.

How do I turn off Personal Mode?   

Personal Mode can be disabled either manually in MyGeotab or Geotab Drive, or by setting rules. To use the Geotab Drive App Add-In, Geotab Drive users must be an administrator or have the appropriate security clearance.

Using exception rules for Personal Mode

Personal Mode can be configured to automatically turn on and off based on conditions set in the application’s Exception Rules, while allowing users to create and customize their own rules.   

Here are a few examples of why fleets might want to control Personal Mode with rules:

  • Convenience and accuracy — Automatically setting Personal Mode for non-working hours ensures that it goes on or off at the right time and there’s no chance of forgetting to change the setting.  
  • Faster response time to accidents — If a driver and fleet manager decide that a fast accident response time outweighs the need for privacy, it is possible to use rules to disable Personal Mode if the Geotab GO device detects that an accident has occurred in order to dispatch a response team.
  • No-go zones: For a number of reasons (insurance, licence validity, etc.), a vehicle may not be able to drive in some areas. For example, a vehicle may not contractually be allowed to cross state or country lines, even in Personal Mode. Set a rule to turn GPS on if this condition is broken.

Conclusion

The Personal Mode feature is a new, powerful, and unique feature for Geotab customers, which also is able to permanently delete data. To learn more about using this feature, please consult the Personal Mode User Guide.

Geotab is continuously enhancing and expanding our fleet management solutions. Let us know what features you are looking for! Leave a comment below.

Related:

Active Tracking: Keeping First Responders Safe

Taking a Look at Geotab Drive

Beyond GPS Tracking: IoT and Hardware Integration

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