Have you given your ELD data away?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by TylerP58, May 5, 2021.

  1. TylerP58

    TylerP58 Bobtail Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I have a quick question for you - how many of you have given your API token (or any form of access to your ELD data) away to a broker and/or load board? As brokers become more digitized, you'll start to see this as a common request (it already is amongst the big players). The problem with this is it's a zero-sum game; once that API token is released, the broker has access to ALL of your fleet's data. Unfortunately, what they will pitch is that they only use said data to track the current load. Although I can't prove this, I would almost bet their analyzing that data internally and most likely building it into their software/rating systems.

    We do a lot of business with one of the big players and we decided to hand over our API token to them so they could track their loads. After doing so, I decided to check how often they're actually requesting our data (Samsara allows you to do this through their dashboard) and what I saw was incredibly alarming. They are requesting the data constantly and when I say constantly, I mean 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This isn't just the CSR checking the load status throughout the transit - this was a steady stream of our fleet's location being pulled into some type of database/software. If it was a person making the request, there'd be no way it would be fetching the data in intervals of 5 minutes.

    No one can tell me they are not data harvesting and utilizing that data for reasons outside tracking. No one can convince me that they are not, in some form or fashion, building out nationwide capacity footprints for better rate negotiations. How can they not see that this is a detriment to our bargaining power as truckers?

    The question is, do they even care?

    Does anyone have any expertise on this or an argument to justify the frequency of the data pulls?
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
    Midwest Trucker and 86scotty Thank this.
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  3. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

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    When you freely give someone keys to your house why are you surprised they use it? While the broker should not be doing this, it doesn't talk a genius to know that's exactly what they intended when you gave them access.
     
    feldsforever and ready2truck Thank this.
  4. Mattflat362

    Mattflat362 Road Train Member

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    Reminds me of what I think of every single smart phone app (and this forum!). Data mining.

    No thanks.
     
  5. wichris

    wichris Road Train Member

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    We give limited access to customers between pu & del, they can see all their loads, the trucks on them and where they are. We refuse to give any access to any broker.
     
  6. TylerP58

    TylerP58 Bobtail Member

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    I think you're missing the point completely, so I'll elaborate - the conversation resides in the fact that real-time tracking is becoming ubiquitous and eventually, it will be hard to do business with any broker who may be using third-party software for tracking. Just like you're seeing in the world of eCommerce, social media, and other mature online platforms, the necessity to push for data privacy is a real thing and seeing how the trucking industry is late to the party, you can assume big tech will try to take advantage of it as much as possible until the old heads get caught up on what's happening.

    It's easy to say "well,, then don't use them" but we all know how important of a role brokers play in our ecosystem, especially with regards to balancing lanes.

    I assumed the worst when I handed it over, but truthfully, I was a little astonished to see the API getting hit every 5 minutes like clock-work. I'm one of thousands, if not tens of thousands of carriers that they now have incredible insights into.
     
    Dave_in_AZ and blairandgretchen Thank this.
  7. TylerP58

    TylerP58 Bobtail Member

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    You do this through a TMS system of some sort or do you e-mail/text them PU/DEL updates?
     
  8. Mattflat362

    Mattflat362 Road Train Member

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    Dude just take back permission and take your chances. You will be fine.
     
    Vampire Thanks this.
  9. wichris

    wichris Road Train Member

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    We give them limited access through the e-log provider which is connected to the TMS. They can see from the time the driver enters arrived at shipper until they enter leaving receiver.
     
  10. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

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    My insurance company is asking for my ELD data too. Not happening.
     
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  11. abyliks

    abyliks Road Train Member

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    ludlow MA
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    “Sorry, paper logs and a flip phone can’t help you”
     
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