That’s the warning from Chevin Fleet Solutions, which says that despite pressure from manufacturers to access vehicle information, data ownership should rest with the vehicle owner.
Ashely Sowerby, Chevin’s managing director, says that despite this information being potentially used for positive reasons, such as future product development, it could create “a lot of difficulties”.
Allowing the manufacturer to book a vehicle into a franchise dealer, for example, would take away some of the choice over which service or maintenance outlet the driver or fleet manager chose.
“It is a question of creating the best balance between benefits and privacy and choice,” says Sowerby.
“This is why fleets should be fighting to retain overall ownership and control of their vehicle data, bearing in mind a whole range of issues from employee right to privacy through to operational policies.”
The situation, he adds, is similar to smartphones, where network providers and others were able to track user behaviour.
“The compromise that has been reached here appears to us to be a sensible one, where users can choose through their device who they share the data with. They are able to make personal decisions that balance benefits and data control.”
The fleet industry needed to have discussions with manufacturers and other parties to work through the implications of the new technology, he said.