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New framework sets out conditions on telematics

Authorities will need to follow rules on privacy and compliance and enforcement.


A new framework governing in-vehicle telematics has been released to provide the trucking industry with guaranteed protections when using the monitoring devices.

The National Transport Commission’s (NTC) Compliance and enforcement framework for heavy vehicle telematics outlines 10 principles relating to privacy, compliance and enforcement that governments and enforcement agencies must follow.

The framework was developed in response to concerns from trucking operators and drivers about how enforcement agencies would use data collected from telematics.

“Principles 1,2,3 and 4 seek to protect operators and drivers from intrusive or unreasonable access to personal information by regulators and enforcement agencies,” the framework states.

The principles include requirements around the need to meet Australian privacy principles, identifying which organisation has responsibility for personal information and limitations on what the information can be used for.

“For example, a telematics system installed only to meet regulatory requirements under the Heavy Vehicle National Law must not be accessed for any other regulatory, enforcement or investigatory purpose unless a court-issued warrant is obtained,” the framework says.

The NTC says principles five, six and seven ensure drivers and operators have informed understanding about the enforcement implications of using the in-vehicle units.

The principles mandate that authorities develop and implement enforcement policies based on “reasonable and proportionate enforcement” and that enforcement policies in relation to the use of telematics information be publicly released, where appropriate.

The NTC says using telematics increases the chance of drivers being detected for breaches due to the accuracy of the devices and the amount of data they produce.

“It is critical that drivers are not unfairly targeted because they use regulatory telematics and that regulators and enforcement agencies do not use telematics to focus on isolated small breaches,” the framework says.

The remaining principles cover the minimum performance and design standards for telematics systems, the need to ensure the technology improves safety and efficiency, and a requirement that all the principles are consistently applied across jurisdictions.

Acting NTC CEO Michelle Hendy says the framework provides certainty to the trucking industry, the technology sector and government about how telematics will work, particularly when used in a regulatory sense.

The framework follows last year’s release of a discussion paper on a compliance framework for telematics. The paper proposed principles and sought feedback from industry and government stakeholders.

“The draft principles were refined through the consultation process, which is reflected in the final framework. A number of governments also sought to ensure the framework does not ‘close off’ mandatory options in the future,” the NTC says.

Australia’s transport ministers approved the final framework during May’s meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Council.

The framework links to Transport Certification Australia’s (TCA) data dictionary, which the NTC says allows regulatory applications to be consistent with international standards and interoperable with other systems.

“The data dictionary is performance-based, which means it can adapt to technology advances, and, importantly, encourage affordable integrated commercial and compliance telematics applications,” Hendy says.

 “Aligning the data dictionary with international standards ensures Australia keeps pace with global trends and the market can develop innovative solutions within a framework.”

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