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Garmin's new disclaimer


Here's the startup screen on my DriveSmart 61. I wonder how much they paid the lawyers to come up with this? :D

Looks like an admission that they use your private information in ways that are illegal in some jurisdictions...


  • Tim 1482 Points
    I don't think that is what they are talking about. I think it is two things. First, in some jurisdictions merely tapping on the screen while the car is turned on is illegal. Second, I believe it is illegal to track someone with GPS without their consent.

    So I think they are saying you might be using the device illegal to privacy laws, not that Garmin is.
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited April 2018
    I agree with your point that operating a GPS while driving might be illegal some places. But I was specifically thinking about the last sentence that references privacy. It has always been possible to see where your wife (for example) has been driving by looking at the tracklog on her GPS. But Garmin never felt the need to warn about this before.

    My thought is that this is related to the smartphone link app. These new devices don't have FM traffic receivers, they use a link to your smartphone. I don't know what kind of data that Garmin collects, but since the GPS device has a live internet connection through your phone, Garmin has the ability to track you. Don't they (or HERE) use your location data as a way to track traffic flow? I'd imagine that data is anonymous, but you never know.

    These new devices also support LiveTrack via the smartphone link app, so that could be related

    Never used it, does it provide some notice that it's turned on? IF not, then maybe that is related to your point. But it is also a way that Garmin could access your location.

    Anyway, my feeling is that a disclaimer like this is to protect Garmin, and not to protect you from violating privacy laws. ;)
  • menhir 113 Points
    It's funny that smart phones don't require similar warnings before use.

    I'll admit to hating the incessant splash screen warnings that can't be turned off. Yeah, I got it the first time.

    I also find it amusing that in order to warn of distracted driving, someone who turns on the device enroute is expected to read the notice and poke at the screen to continue. :-)
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited April 2018
    Actually, Garmin's smartphone app - StreetPilot - does have the warning screen when you open it (the old warning without the privacy stuff). However, the fascinating thing is that the app has a preference setting to disable it (we have another thread about that). Why don't they provide that option on their dedicated devices?


    But online privacy has become a hot issue recently (with Mark Zuckerberg testifying in Congress today IIRC). So legislation is evolving and I know the EU is already set some higher standards. And all this legislation has the goal of protecting individuals from corporations. That's why I assumed the new disclaimer has something to do with information that Garmin collects (or could collect) about you.
  • alanb 556 Points
    I interpret the disclaimer language the same way Tim does. Unless Garmin decides to clarify or expand on this with a FAQ or something specific in their user agreement, we will probably never know their exact purpose.
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited April 2018
    Maybe a few clues here....

    I don't see anything there warning that it's unlawful for you to track somebody. It's all about what they can do to you. And I don't know... but that disclaimer just feels like it's saying "we told you so" in case you want to take legal action against them for doing any of those things. ;)

  • Tim 1482 Points
    edited April 2018
    This is how I read it, more or less in their own words, I can't imagine them trying to say "this is how we are illegally using your info.


    Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit use of this device.

    • It is your responsibility to know and comply with rights to privacy in jurisdictions where you plan to use the device.

    • It is your responsibility to know and comply with applicable laws in jurisdictions where you plan to use the device.
  • alanb 556 Points
    edited April 2018
    I am one of the customers that allows Garmin to use my data. When I realized how valuable the Smartphone Link Traffic is, I decided I was willing to contribute. Now, if I thought Garmin was collecting and selling identifiable data about me and where I travel so marketers could target me ... yes, I would be PO'ed. So far I haven't seen anything that leads me to believe Garmin is doing this.
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    Well no doubt you're right. But my conspiracy theory is more fun. >:)
  • Tim 1482 Points
    Haha. :)
  • I got an email today from Garmin saying that they have a new privacy policy.

    [quote]Your Privacy Matters

    To ensure that you are informed about how Garmin uses your personal data, we've updated the privacy policies for many of our sites and products. Please look over the new policies, which will be effective starting May 25, 2018. Here is some information you can expect to see in the updated policies:

    • Why we process personal data
    • Legal grounds for processing personal data
    • Data privacy user rights and how to exercise them
    • How to contact Garmin about data privacy

    If you no longer have a Garmin device and want to delete your personal data from Garmin servers, please visit our data management portal. [/quote]

    I have not read it yet.

  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited April 2018
    I received the same e-mail this morning. You can view their new policy here:

    It is very detailed and clearly presented. Nothing very surprising, although they use a number of third party services I've never heard of, such as Hotjar, HockeyApp, Crashlytics (Fabric), Flurry, Umeng and Amplitude.

    BTW @crazyfingers - bbcode tags like [quote] no longer work here at gpsreview. :)

  • Hi Boyd, ya I noticed when I saw the post but decided to leave it figuring most people knew the meaning.
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