GPS tracking devices come with many benefits for drivers, such as discounts on auto insurance and the ability to keep tabs on their driving habits. GPS tracking for car dealers can help you monitor your inventory, too.
Even though these devices seem appealing, are they legal? Below, learn more about the legality of tracking devices in personal and company-owned vehicles.
Why Car Dealerships Must Understand the Legality of Tracking Devices
As a car dealership, you may wonder if you can sell vehicles equipped with GPS tracking devices without running afoul of any laws. It’s legal to sell such vehicles, and you can legally monitor your dealership’s inventory as well.
But some buyers may understandably have concerns about the legality of tracking devices in their cars. Here’s what to tell your buyers before you hand over the keys.
The Legality of Tracking Devices Varies by State
When your dealership sells a vehicle, inform the buyer that tracking laws vary widely in different states. However, in all states, it’s completely legal for buyers to install a GPS tracker in their own car or buy a vehicle equipped with GPS tracking.
What if your customer intends to deploy the car as a company-owned vehicle or wants to use the tracker to monitor their spouse? In these situations, the legality of tracking devices becomes more complex.
Tracking Devices in Personal Vehicles
When a driver gets behind the wheel of their car, they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. They probably don’t expect someone to monitor their whereabouts with a GPS tracker. But is tracking someone’s location with GPS against the law? That depends on the state, but in most cases, it comes down to who owns the vehicle.
Consider this situation: A parent thinks their teenager has been driving recklessly and wants to track what they’re doing on the road. As long as the parent owns the vehicle, it’s legal to track the actions of their teen driver.
What about a wife who suspects her husband of infidelity? In this scenario, assume that the wife plants a tracking device in her spouse’s car without telling him. Such an action violates stalking laws in certain states. But if the wife has given effective consent to install a tracking device in her own car, and she tracks her husband while he’s driving it, she may not be violating the law, depending on the state in which she lives.
Tracking Devices in Employer-Owned Vehicles
Federal law doesn’t address employee GPS tracking, but surveillance laws vary significantly for employers depending on the state in which they operate. In most states, legislative actions allow employers to track the fuel usage, driving behaviors, and location of employees who drive company-owned vehicles.
California is one of the strictest states in the nation when it comes to privacy laws. In this state, tracking employee vehicles could violate the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) even if the employee gives consent. Employers who wish to track workers in this state must tread carefully.
In states such as New York and Florida, employers need consent if they want to install a tracker in an employee-owned vehicle. Some states also have laws that restrict tracking to business hours only.
Even if a state normally prohibits electronic surveillance without consent, it may make exceptions for employers. Employers who want to know more about the legality of tracking devices in company-owned cars should contact an attorney for legal advice.
Contact SafePoint to Learn More About Our GPS Tracking Solutions
Laws related to the legality of tracking devices can be confusing, but it’s perfectly legal to monitor your dealership inventory with a SafePoint GPS tracking device. Our GPS tracking devices can help you recover stolen inventory, let you know when it’s time to perform maintenance, and monitor vehicle locations in real-time. If you’d like to learn more about how GPS technology can revolutionize your car dealership, call us at (833) 723-3764 or schedule your free demo today.