[Austria] Supreme court ruling on illegal GPS tracking compensation

[Austria] Supreme court ruling on illegal GPS tracking compensation
18 Sep 2020

Austria’s Supreme Court recently ruled for the first time on the question of whether GPS tracking without an employee's consent warrants compensation for immaterial damage. The plaintiff was reportedly part of the defendant's sales force and was provided with a company car that he was permitted to use for private purposes. When the plaintiff discovered the defendant had installed a GPS tracking system and issues arose related to this he asked the head of sales to turn it off.

The plaintiffs superior often contact him to question his movements, based on data transmitted through the tracking system. The defendant stopped using the company car for private journeys, instead using his own. After six months the employer (defendant) gave notice of termination and the employee sued for damages, arguing that the employer's unlawful GPS tracking amounted to an invasion of privacy causing emotional distress. Damages were awarded by the trial court and the GPS tracking found to be unlawful. The Supreme Court upheld the lower courts' decisions, International Law Office explores its ruling and offer their perspective.

Austria’s Supreme Court recently ruled for the first time on the question of whether GPS tracking without an employee's consent warrants compensation for immaterial damage. The plaintiff was reportedly part of the defendant's sales force and was provided with a company car that he was permitted to use for private purposes. When the plaintiff discovered the defendant had installed a GPS tracking system and issues arose related to this he asked the head of sales to turn it off.

The plaintiffs superior often contact him to question his movements, based on data transmitted through the tracking system. The defendant stopped using the company car for private journeys, instead using his own. After six months the employer (defendant) gave notice of termination and the employee sued for damages, arguing that the employer's unlawful GPS tracking amounted to an invasion of privacy causing emotional distress. Damages were awarded by the trial court and the GPS tracking found to be unlawful. The Supreme Court upheld the lower courts' decisions, International Law Office explores its ruling and offer their perspective.