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Do you Allow Personal Use of Your Fleet? Give Your Drivers Privacy When Not On Company Time!

Some drivers may be weary and have objections when the company they work for tells them they will be adding vehicle telematics, or in other words "Fleet Tracking" to their vehicles. There are many ways employers can overcome this like debunking common myths about telematics, to explaining how important it is for driver safety and other important areas of their business operations. A personal mode feature included as part of a telematics solution can be a great option for companies whose employees use their work vehicles for both business and personal use.

In this blog post I will introduce this new feature and answer some of the top questions that users may have.

What is Personal Mode?

Personal Mode is a feature in MyGeotab, which makes it possible for drivers or dispatchers to temporarily disable vehicle tracking. Fleets have the option to use this when their drivers are using the vehicles for allowed personal use. If they are using vehicles for personal use then they deserve to have privacy and peace of mind that they aren't being tracked 24/7.

When should your fleet use this new feature?

Some examples of times you would use this feature are:

  • 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.

Every business operates differently, these are just two examples but many more use cases apply.

Note: Personal Mode should be not be used with compliance features such as electronic logging / Hours of Service (HOS) or IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) features.

How does Personal Mode work?

With Personal Mode enabled, some data is hidden and some is not. Location features using GPS like position of vehicle, trip data and speed profiles are not displayed in MyGeotab.

GPS positions are immediately removed from the regular data flow and inaccessible in the 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 optimizing your fleet. 

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

How do I turn on Personal Mode?

There are 3 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-In — Use 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-In — Use 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.

NEM provides setup and training for any features within our system!

Does personal mode data get 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 set 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.

Why store Personal GPS Data at all then?

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

  • In the case of a collision when a driver is in Personal Mode, you can provide your driver's collision details to serve as evidence to prove your driver was not at fault.

  • Assist users in finding and recovering a stolen vehicle.

This is just two examples and there is sure to be more, but 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 collision?

If a collision takes place, personal private data can be extracted to assist in accident reconstruction. In order to access driver's private data in the case of a collision, fleets must demonstrate that they have received consent from the driver.

How do I turn off Personal Mode?   

Personal Mode can be manually disabled 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. NEM is here to help our customers with anything they need done in their system including setting up Personal Mode for them and teaching them how to use it.

Using exception rules for Personal Mode

Personal Mode can be configured to turn on and off automatically by setting up conditions in the Exception Rules in MyGeotab. This allows users to create and customize their own rules.   

Some examples of why fleets would want to control Personal Mode using Exception Rules:

  • Convenience and accuracy — Creating conditions to automatically turn Personal Mode on and off makes it more convenient. You can set it up to go on and off at exactly the right time which lessens the chance of forgetting.   

  • Faster response time to collisions — If a fleet manager and driver agree that getting collision data quickly after a collision occurs, you can set up your conditions to automatically turn off Personal Mode in the event of a collision.

  • Driving in "No-Go Zones" — Vehicles may have restrictions on where they are allowed to go regardless if it's on company time or not. This can be due to laws, insurance, licensing or a number of other reasons. You can set your conditions to have GPS tracking turn back on automatically if they are broken and the vehicle travels where it is not allowed to go. This will help protect your company and let know immediately if the driver is violating any restrictions.


Geotab's new Personal Mode feature is a unique and powerful feature for customers that is able to permanently delete data to protect your driver's privacy when on personal time. To learn more about using this feature, please consult the Personal Mode User Guide or ask us here at New England Mobile, Systems, Inc.

Geotab is continuously enhancing and expanding our fleet management solutions to better serve our customers. Let us know what features you are looking for and NEM can help you customize your Telematics Solution to fit your company's unique needs!



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