Geotab Privacy Mode


Geotab has a privacy mode feature to allow the system to temporarily shield the vehicle tracking. This feature can help convince employees that are resistant to get a Geotab telematics device on their vehicle. Privacy mode can be used in a combination of ways in Geotab.

How privacy mode works:

  • Privacy mode works on a vehicle level, therefore if a vehicle is set to private mode it will not be visible on the map.
  • GPS data from the tracking unit will not be recorded if privacy mode is enabled for the vehicle.
  • The device will still record any engine* and accelerometer* data, which is useful for fleet optimization and accident detection/reconstruction. The accident detection alert will also work while in privacy mode.  *Engine/accelerometer data only available in the Geotab Pro service plan.


How to use privacy mode:

There are two main ways the privacy mode feature can be utilized in Geotab to limit unnecessary vehicle tracking:

    • Track only during work hours: The privacy mode can be set up so that the vehicle is only visible during work hours. This means the vehicles will be tracked only when during the work hours on the system. When the system detects that it is no longer in the work hour period. the vehicle will automatically be set to private mode.
    • Track only inside or outside specified zones or zone typesPrivacy mode can be activated based on zones.
      • The system can be set up to only track vehicles when it is driving in a specified zone. The opposite can also be used to turn on privacy mode in a specified zone and track vehicles outside those zones.
      • Especially useful in construction sites, where there are specified speed limits that the vehicles must follow in the zone.
      • Also allow the system to be used in location management only setup, meaning the system will only show which vehicles are in which zones without needing to constantly track the vehicles.

Benefits of privacy mode to the drivers:

  • Accident detection alerts will still work: Allows the users of the system to quickly dispatch help to drivers in case of an accident, even if the vehicle is in privacy mode. The alerts can still be received by anyone that the system administrator allows.
  • Accident data can be used to help drivers: The Geotab accident data is stored privately on the Geotab server. The accident data can be used for reconstruction of the accident and can be especially useful to help drivers with insurance claims. The accident data can only be accessed if the driver provides written consent to Geotab to release the data.
  • Allows drivers to be reimbursed directly for personal vehicle use: The privacy mode will still record distance driven, therefore it can be used to reimburse drivers when they use their personal vehicles for work.

Benefits of privacy mode to businesses:

We have identified many great cases where privacy mode can help in implementing fleet tracking:

  • Senior employees who do not want to be tracked after hours: The privacy mode feature can be used on vehicles for senior employees where the employees are not warm to the idea of being tracked all the time. Showing them that you are not tracking the vehicles when it is after hours or outside their site/office, will make it easier to implement the tracking system. The key benefits to tracking system comes from the metrics it provides on your vehicle and quick response for accidents.
  • Unionized contracts where the vehicles are not allowed to be tracked: Some unions do not allow active tracking on vehicles. Having privacy mode feature on a system means that the telematics device can be installed on the vehicles for fleet optimization and maintenance purposes without breaking the terms of the contracts.
  • Personal vehicles of employees were the employees need to be reimbursed: If a business asks the employees to use the vehicle for work purposes, it may be beneficial to have a GPS tracking unit in place. The privacy mode features make sure the tracking is turned off after hours so that the employee’s trips are not tracked. Having a privacy mode setting allows you to track the employee’s vehicles during business hours, enabling you to get better information on fuel usage and distance driven, to work out reimbursements.

How does privacy mode look in Geotab:

When a vehicle is in private mode, it will not appear on the map. All GPS tracking data will be separated and stored on the Geotab backend. The users of the database will not have access to the data unless Geotab receives written consent from the driver of the vehicle allowing them to release the data. Storing the data is useful for future accident reconstruction.