A vehicle rental company in Australia has made a controversial decision to install a GPS vehicle tracking system in roughly 30% of the vehicles in its car rental fleet. Using the GPS vehicle tracking system signal, the car rental company will be able to know in real time the exact location of the vehicle. Plus they can be notified by text message if the car rental customer has breached any of the terms of their rental agreement, such as driving the rented car down a dirt road. Renters can be fined for their driving behavior, if it is a breach of the car rental contract.
The GPS tracking device is the size of a small pack of cards and will be and will send the Global positioning system (GPS) coordinates back to the company. According to the company, DriveMyCar Rentals, the GPS vehicle tracking data will only be used in certain conditions such as non-payment, if the renter is unreachable for a period of at least two weeks or if the owner is concerned about the car’s location – for example if it’s in an area where there is heavy rain and flooding.
According to Civil Liberties Australia, the decision to install a GPS tracking system is an “excessive” invasion of privacy, and does not agree with the decision. However, the car rental company argues that they are simply doing what is best for their company and for their fleet of vehicles. Customers will be notified of the GPS tracking devices in the website’s terms and conditions as well as the rental car agreement itself and via a sticker on the car’s window. If someone is uncomfortable with the GPS tracking system, then they simply can rent from someone else.