It’s no news that protecting your data and privacy is very important in today’s digital world. With the rise of electronic devices and new technologies, knowing how and what steps to take to protect your data and privacy is becoming increasingly more important within the trucking industry.
A 2019 industry study about ELD data asked drivers if they were aware of their ELD provider’s policy on data sharing. 34% had no idea on how to opt-in or opt-out of data sharing. If protecting your data and privacy is so important to truck drivers, why are drivers not aware of their ELD provider’s data protection and privacy policies? If we had to guess, it is likely due to privacy policies that are often hidden into legal terms and conditions pages filled with legal jargon that most people skip over.
So to help you understand what you can do to protect your data and privacy, we’ve created this quick guide of easy to understand steps to take to protect yourself, your data, credit, lifestyle, etc.
Choose a Phone/Tablet Provider
Since you won’t be going anywhere on the road without a mobile cellular device and it is extremely likely you’ll use your device for work (ELD, GPS, Social Media, Load boards). The first step to protecting your privacy is doing your research and choosing the best phone and/or tablet device. The two main phone and tablet providers are Apple iOS or Google Android. Both have their pros and cons but ultimately, you will need to decide which operating system you prefer.
Apple is known for protecting the privacy of its users from the moment you start the device. Facial and fingerprint recognition, 6-digit passwords and Find My device capability are all extra security features found on Apple devices. Google, although often bad-mouthed for the invasion of privacy when it comes to advertising, has a decent amount of privacy elements within their devices. However, by default Google devices are known for open privacy settings to allow for the most “ad-supporting” user experience.
Choose a Reliable and Secure ELD Provider
Electronic logging devices were mandated in 2017 and fully enforced, including all fleets running AOBRD technology, by 2019. The ELD mandate, although somewhat controversial, can be a good thing for trucking companies and fleets of all sizes. The increased use of technology can help level the playing field for managing smaller fleets and make truck driving easier.
There are several key features to look for when evaluating ELD providers such as ease of use, latest technology, and user support. Does the company offer the latest edge computing ELD technology? Edge computing is the latest ELD technology allowing faster processing and more accurate data to be transmitted to the fleet management database. This type of technology can help protect against inaccuracies within ELD systems.
Where is your ELD data stored and how do you access your data if needed? Does the company intend on selling your data? An even bigger question, who owns the ELD or Fleet Management company? Did you know that Google, AT&T, Verizon, are all in the ELD space? These are all good questions to ask your ELD provider when trying to ensure your data is protected.
Avoid and Be Aware of Phishing Schemes
Phishing and hacker schemers are not only in trucking. Obviously, there are petty cybercriminals who prey on people’s data daily all across the internet. Cybercriminals are getting better at masking their schemes. Most recently, the internet saw an increase in Covid-19 related hacker schemes. These hackers use emails laced with clickbait and malicious software to entice users to click off a safe email into a phony website that can ultimately steal your information.
Not only are schemers and criminals online, but they have also infiltrated spam phone and SMS text messaging. Depending on the type of phone and your phone provider, you may notice calls coming in as “Spam Risk.” This has been very helpful in identifying robocallers and protecting personal information. If you are receiving a high volume of robocalls, the best way to stop these unwanted calls is to block and report the caller. If you receive a call from an unknown number or blocked caller id, be extremely cautious when answering the call.
Be Educated on Dashcams
Dashcams are another technology that are both beneficial and controversial in the trucking industry. On one hand, a dashcam can save your business by holding other drivers responsible for their reckless driving behavior as well as validate your safe driving behavior. On the other hand, cab-facing cameras can be seen as invasive. The most important questions when implementing new technology are, first, how and where is the video from the dashcams being stored? And second, how is the dashcam footage going to be used?
Courts have ruled that dashcams are not an invasion of privacy. The driver’s privacy is at risk only if the company is using the camera footage without the driver’s knowledge - this is a problem! It is best practice to be aware of how your company is using driver-facing camera footage and demand transparency in terms of dashcam policies. Dashcams can be a great tool for driver training, alerting, and accountability if implemented securely and respectfully.
Your data (HOS logs, dashcam video, internet browsing history, etc.) is just that, YOURS. Be sure to take precautionary measures to protect your data and privacy.