Is it illegal to use GPS tracking

April 9, 2021 in Uncategorized

The question of whether or not you can legally track a company fleet of vehicles using GPS vehicle tracking devices is a common one within Australia. The answer to this question isn't as simple as "yes" or "no." It depends on the type of tracking and the state in which your business operates. This article will explore some of the different types that exist, how they are used, and what laws may apply to using GPS tracking systems to monitor your fleet assets. An important question to ask when considering your GPS tracking systems for your company vehicles are.

So why are you tracking your company vehicles?

  • The data collected from GPS trackers will help compile evidence about what happened during an incident or accident. Will you be using tracking software or video streaming?

  • What are the ways you plan to use this data for the business fleet?

  • What data you will safeguard if you are using tracking devices in your vehicle fleet.

  • Do company's drivers are consequences if they tamper with, disable, or remove the GPS tracking devices without the company's permission.

What is the legality of GPS tracking devices in each state?

Using a GPS tracker, telematics technology or video streaming in company vehicles are allowed in most states; there are different laws and regulations on using a vehicle tracker for each place. Claiming you are using it to provide customer service, reducing operating costs, worker safety or increasing productivity may not be the end answer. A good resource to start with would be the below;

What are the laws in Queensland

In Queensland, no legislation prevents using GPS tracker or GPS technology in company vehicles. Witnessing the frustration and mistrust caused by employees who feel they’ve been left out of important conversations is not worth it. If you are in Queensland, we recommend getting consent from your employees before tracking their vehicle and driver performance. It would be best if you also were sure to communicate how the data will be used.

What are the laws in New South Wales

Tracking company vehicles is legal in New South Wales provided the employer complies with the law (Workplace Surveillance Act 2005). When it comes to using GPS tracking systems to track employees, the Act states that you must notify the employee at least two weeks before tracking is due to start.

Before you track a company vehicle's whereabouts using GPS tracking systems, you must notify them in writing and include the following info.

What kind of monitoring will be carried out? 

How will the monitoring be conducted inside the vehicle?

When will the monitoring begin?

If the monitoring would be constant or sporadic is a question that needs to be answered.

If the surveillance will be for a set period of time (to be determined) or will continue indefinitely

Employers also need to display a sign within the vehicle itself indicating that it has vehicle tracking fitted.

What are the laws inNorthern Territory

The Northern Territory’s policy on vehicle tracking appears to be similar to that of New South Wales. The Northern Territory enforces the Surveillance Devices Act 2007.

What are the laws in Western Australia

If you’re based in Western Australia, the Surveillance Devices Act, 1998 is the document you want to pay the most consideration to. It’s relatively long, so we’ll summarise; don’t track employees or objects they have with them (their vehicle) without their knowledge and permission.

Attempting to use vehicle GPS tracking solutions without consent isn’t worth the danger. Businesses can face a penalty of up to $50,000, with directors and immediately involved supervisors meeting individual damages of $5,000 and up to 12 months in prison.

What are the laws in Victoria

The Surveillance Devices Act 1999 provides information about whether or not vehicle tracking is actually legal. Using GPS tracking solutions to track someone without their consent is illegal and could have legal implications for your actions. This includes tracking objects, such as using a GPS tracker in a fleet vehicle or apps on the phone. There are different types of consent the company can look for. Express consent is asking the direct question, while implied consent could be included within a job contract.

What are the laws inAustralian Capital Territory

In the greater ACT, the laws around vehicle tracking of company fleet vehicles are very similar to those in New South Wales.; That is, you must notify the person you will be tracking in advance and provide some important details. Their legislation is the Workplace Privacy Act 2011 (ACT).

What are the laws in Tasmania

There currently isn’t any legislation in Tasmania on vehicle tracking of company vehicles. You should still proceed with honesty is our recommendation.

Can your employer track your mobile phone?

Ordinarily speaking, tracking an employee’s phone utilising GPS is similar to the vehicle tracking laws above. Using a tracking device to monitor a workplace employee using their mobile phone or vehicle are treated similarly.  An employee will probably feel more upset by using a phone for tracking as it will show all the places they are going to which possible is done in none working times. There are apps where they are time-based and also rely on using the vibration sensors in the phone to only track if the phone believes the person is actually driving a vehicle. It will however not know if the vehicle is a company fleet vehicle or the person's private vehicle.

What are the Key Topics to ask about using a Tracking Device in a vehicle in Australia?

It invariably pays to be acquainted yourself as well as familiarising your staff. After evaluating your state’s laws, it could help to sit down and revise your vehicle fleet strategy. Mainly reflect these fundamental points:

What states will your staff be operating in? What are the legal obligations for tracking solutions in any of those states, and does your vehicles use one or more states in Australia?

If you plan to install tracking, have you thought about how you will deliver this to your staff?

Have you incorporated features of what will be tracked inside your vehicle system?

Can I track vehicles that my staff own but use for work?

It may be acceptable to track vehicles you own to monitor driver behaviour. Still, it is doubtful whether to track vehicles owned by your employees – although they can use them for their work with you. In these vehicles, you will often not be able to instal a monitoring and fleet management system. 

Safeguard the information that's gathered

You'll want to make sure that the data gathered by your tracking devices is only visible to the staff members of your company. They have a viable reason to view and use it. Put steps to prevent the data from dropping into the wrong hands and being used for inappropriate purposes.

GPS trackers are tracking devices that use the Global Positioning System to track a person's location data. The tracking device is typically attached to one of the items they carry with them in order for it be tracked, such as their car or cell phone. This way, if someone leaves a certain area without telling anyone where they were going, then people can follow their GPS coordinates on google maps and find out where they went.

GPS Tracking Systems

A GPS Tracking System uses tracking software that uses satellites and ground stations to track the location of an object and display it on software such as google maps. This means that even if a person or vehicle moves out of range, it can still be tracked through the use of recorded data.

GPS Tracking Solutions

Using GPS tracking solutions and GPS technology by installing a car tracker has massive advantages that can help monitor where your fleet is, customer service, reduce fuel consumption, driver safety, driver behaviour, and monitor driver performance by seeing data from the vehicle to reduce operating costs. Telemax has years of experience can provide several different products and plug play tracking devices for your fleet within Australia and overseas in making sure your GPS tracking solutions are the correct match and using the right device while providing value for money. You can order any of our products or a gps tracker by visiting and checking out your shopping cart or getting in contact with our customer service team to make sure your assets are safe.

Take away points

Remember, efficient fleet operations tracking and administration is good and help with customer service. It can help maintain safe and working order in your cars and assets, cut petrol and route optimisation, and increase your fleet's productivity. You're good as gold as long as you think of security, do it lawfullyresponsibly, and transparently. Getting gps tracking devices installed can make all the differnence, its easy to purchase them through our shopping cart.

Notice of disclaimer

The following are some of the main responsibilities in each state as of the publication date. They are not, however, an exhaustive list of the applicable laws pertaining to monitoring surveillance equipment and fleet management solutions. The information provided is not a legal opinion and must not be relied on as such; instead, you should obtain valuable legal counsel about your circumstances. Telemax will not be held liable for any mistakes or omissions based on the article above, description of any gps tracker and all rights reserved.