Stricter EU rules to protect driver data

The European Parliament has passed stricter data protection laws, which aim to safeguard the privacy of company car and van drivers among others, reports FleetNews.

The new rules have been drawn up because of the ever-increasing connectivity offered by modern vehicles and the devices that connect to them. The EU is therefore particularly concerned that this may lead to privacy breaches.

Chief among the changes is the need to obtain a much higher standard of consent. Furthermore, definitions of what will be classified as personal data will be clarified, and tougher penalties will be brought in for those found to be breaching the rules.

As the car industry goes through increasing technological changes, it’s likely that car dealership stock levels and vehicle types will fluctuate from time to time. However, during any transition period, car dealerships should ensure they regularly update their motor trade insurance and road risks insurance, so that they provide the appropriate levels of cover for all of their vehicles.

All business affected by the changes will have two years to start complying with the new rules, as it is expected that some 90 per cent of new cars manufactured in 2020 and beyond will be virtually connected in some way.

Frans Timmermans, the first vice-president of the European Commission, said that: “Individuals must be empowered; they must know what their rights are and know how to defend their rights if they feel they are not respected. The new rules will ensure that the fundamental right to personal data protection is guaranteed for all.”

Caroline Sandall, the deputy chairman of fleet industry group ACFO, added: “Employers are going to have to think carefully about what data will be truly useful and meaningful. If that message is not clearly delivered, employees will struggle to understand what they are consenting to, which could lead to grievances or being challenged when any punitive action is taken.”