We keep saying that we are 'GPS-free' and do not store or share location data with others. Still, the app asks for permission for location data. What's up with that?
Location data technically means much more than just GPS. The phone can determine your location in many different ways, namely via the nearest GSM mast, the Wi-Fi network to which you are connected, a Bluetooth box and your GPS location. Each of these ways involves a different chip in your phone. The GPS chip is only turned on for a very precise location, using the GPS satellites.
We do not turn on this GPS chip. This has two advantages: no invasion of your privacy, but also a much lower battery consumption of your phone, because GPS consumes a relatively large amount of energy.
AndroidSince Bluetooth is indirectly also a kind of location determination, Android 11 and below asks for permission for location data. From Android 12, permission to use Bluetooth is requested directly.
iOSOn an iPhone it is possible to swipe away our app. Then our solution no longer works. We use a built-in Apple trick to automatically launch the app when you drive, via 'significant change'. In the background, your phone roughly determines where you are using GSM masts, with an accuracy of 500 meters. If you suddenly change position significantly, it causes a 'significant change' event. This ensures that our app starts up automatically and all our functions work again when you drive. We only use this location data for app launch and do not store any data.
To determine whether you are driving or standing still, we use the accelerometer in the pod. In some cases, this method does not work well: for example, if the motor already vibrates a lot when stationary. You can choose in the app to use the GPS speed to determine whether you are driving at more than 10 km/h. We do not store this speed anywhere, it is only used to determine whether you are driving or not. The incoming location data is not used or stored by us.
Within SafeDrivePod there is one exception where we do turn on the GPS chip and even share your location data: after an accident with your car. If our crash detection detects an accident, we send out a distress signal with GPS coordinates to help you as quickly as possible. Where exactly that emergency signal goes depends on the agreements that have been made about this with your employer, lease company or insurance company.
Finally, a legal argument. The strict European privacy rules are very clear about what you can and cannot do with customer data. First, you have to write down very precisely what data you collect and what you do with it. Second, you have to keep exactly what you promise to your customer. In our case, this is described in the privacy statement that you can read when you first use our app. If we do not keep to our agreements, we are in violation. It is therefore in both your and our interest that we handle your data properly.