Our core competence law

Law and GPS

Law is one of the foundations of Infostars’ software. From the very beginning, legal aspects were taken into account in the software programme, so that the authorisation system and data protection aspects are deeply integrated.

GPS and law as core competence

Our managing director and co-founder MMag. Tarbuk is a graduated lawyer and has demanded the legal components in the software concepts from the very beginning. Out of this constelation a GPS software was developed, which has law as one of its core competences.

The legal know-how flows into the consulting for the design of the systems for our clients. Infostars is first about advising and then selling. This is particularly important as there are always points of contact with the law when using a GPS-based system in a company. Some of these points are of a general nature and can also be answered globally. Others, however, are very sensitive and require a case-by-case examination.

We advise you on what the system could look like and what options are possible in terms of design, setting, in order to meet legal requirements. In doing so, we help you to prepare questions for a lawyer or tax advisor. Only they are allowed to give you a legally binding individual case assessment or legal information.

GPS and law

The subject of law is complex and important because there is not only one area of law that has to be considered. For example, labour law, data protection law, GDPR, tax law and other areas such as works agreements usually have to be taken into account at the same time.

When applying several areas of law, there are inevitably questions of delimitation and balancing, because laws and regulations never regulate everything down to the last detail. For this you absolutely need a partner who has internal knowledge and can brief you on the basics.

Another complicating factor is that there are hardly any final court rulings from which you can derive interpretations.

How well the systems of Infostars GmbH are set up is shown by BVWGT W214 2207491 – 1/44E. There, the court affirmed the admissibility of the use of a GPS system from Infostars in principle and ruled against the Austrian data protection authority.

Court rulings and GPS (admissibility)

There are only a few court decisions that refer to GPS systems. We would like to go into 2 of them in more detail.

OGH decision 9 ObA 120/19s

BVWGT W214 2207491 – 1/44E

Supreme Court decision 9 ObA 120/19s

In this finding, the OGH in Austria clearly stated its grounds for decision. The GPS system of the defendant (company – not a customer of Infostars) was classified as illegal. This was not to be expected otherwise, because the company introduced the system as follows:

  1. “Employee had no knowledge of the installation of the GPS device”
  2. “Vehicles were also tracked during the employee’s leisure time”
  3. „Managing director, sales manager, production manager and office manager had the possibility to locate the vehicles at any time via the internet – even during private time.”

It was confirmed by the court that the tracking of vehicles during an employee’s private time without objective justification is to be classified as impermissible.

Unauthorised use of GPS can lead to liability for damages

The Supreme Court decision 9 ObA 120/19s is important because a claim for damages by the employee against the company was awarded by the Supreme Court.

This shows the importance of having a solution partner who has a sound legal knowledge and recommends a design of the system that would be considered correct by a court. This is demonstrated by BVWGT W214 2207491 – 1/44E.

BVWGT W214 2207491 – 1/44E – Permissible use of a GPS system

In BVWGT W214 2207491 – 1/44E, the Federal Administrative Court ruled that the use of a GPS system, which can also display the route driven, is in principle permissible.

In this ruling, it explained in detail the basis for its decision.

GPS and data protection

Infostars GmbH has a lot of legal know-how and has integrated data protection into the software as a system pillar from the very beginning. However, the legal assessment can only be related to a concrete individual case.

The topic is so complex because in a company the question of whether a GPS system is permissible can be answered with yes and no. It may be that it is not permissible for a company to have a GPS system. It may be that it is ok for a certain area of use but not for another, or for a certain type of employee and not others.

Contact our advisors for assistance or information on how best to implement a GPS tracking system so that it can be used successfully while respecting data protection and other areas of law.

Is the data of private tours protected?

With our 100% private protection option, the data of private journeys is protected and correctly displayed. The company only sees the kilometres driven privately in total.

As there is a requirement for a closed logbook in both Germany and Austria, it will usually be illegal for private journeys not to be stored and retrieved.

What happens if a driver has incorrectly marked a business trip as private?

With the 100% private cover option, the driver of a journey can declare it as business-related. In this case, the private cover remains 100%, as only the driver can do this.

Can a vehicle be located in an emergency, even if a private run is set?

With the 100% private protection option, the vehicle can be located by our alarm centre, which has been approved by the Data Protection Commission. The alarm centre has been authorised by the Data Protection Commission to carry out tracking. This means that your vehicle can be located in dangerous situations and your private journeys remain protected.

GPS-FAQ – Law and the need for agreement

Infostars has developed a system that may remove the need for permission. Contact our advisors about how this might work.

As a rule, agreement is required. In most cases, the management has to reach a consensus with the works council. We will be happy to advise you on the possibilities of our systems and accompany you in the discussions.

May a GPS tracking device be used?

One thing is certain: if you, as the owner of the vehicle, install a GPS device and always drive the vehicle yourself, this is permitted without restriction.

Are companies and businesses allowed to use a GPS device?

Yes, normally they are. However, not if it violates the human dignity of an employee. If the 100% private protection of Infostars is chosen, then the use does not normally violate human dignity and may be used. However, a possible consent requirement must be clarified separately.

May a company use GPS tracking devices without consent?

If the human dignity of the employees is not even touched by the use, then a GPS tracking device may be used without consent. The term “touching human dignity” is interpreted by the courts. The interpretation is changing over time. For example, in the case of a time clock, it is now considered that it does not normally touch human dignity.

Infostars has developed a special system in which the human dignity of the employee is not affected despite the use of a GPS tracking device such as a time clock. Thus, its use may be permissible without the consent of an employee or works council. This statement only refers to a specific product – the tax office driver’s logbook with 100% private protection without additional functions and under certain conditions. For all other products, consent will usually be required.

How is a driver’s logbook kept correctly?

Please read our instructions on the subpage on keeping a driver’s logbook.

Contact our advisors for their assistance on how best to design a GPS system.

Any questions?

Our advisors are always at your disposal! Contact us:

Telephone hotline for Austria: +43/(0)1/9971005 (Mon-Fri 9.00 -17.00h)

Telephone hotline for Germany: +49 8654 608 800 (Mon-Fri 9.00 -17.00h)

Telephone hotline for Italy: +39 02 6773 9175 (Mon-Fri 9.00 -17.00h)

Telephone hotline for Spain: +34 917373420 (Mon-Fri 9.00 -18.00h)

E-Mail to office@infostars.at or use our → contact form