Tuesday, May 12, 2015

24/7 GPS Monitoring

A phone app you have to install, that track you by GPS, to locations, times, even driving speeds. It has a clock in/clock out feature, but does not shut off, allowing your boss to track your movements at all times, day and night.

And they fire you if you uninstall it.

15 comments:

Dave H said...

When I carried a company phone I turned it off and left it at home when I wasn't at work.

Still, I hope this company gets run through the wringer.

Ajdshootist said...

One of the reasons i had a work phone and a private mobile phone work may have had my home number but they never had my privite mobile no and why i never carried my work mobile on days off or week ends.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

All of which combine to equal "Find a new job, quick!" That's an employer I wouldn't want to work for. Ever.

aurictech said...

The first two words that came to my mind, after reading the linked article were these:

Faraday. Cage.

At that point, I decided to test an improvised Faraday Cage, by placing my cellular phone inside a zipper-seal plastic bag, which I then placed inside a cookie gift tin.

SUCCESS! My cellular phone did not receive a signal. That being the case, a similar arrangement ought to prevent the GPS locator function of the app from functioning.

Mr. Universe notwithstanding, sometimes you can stop the signal....

FrankC said...

Does the employer supply the phone? If not then produce a non-Smart phone and chuckle when the app won't install. You don't have to use the dumb phone, just show it.

Steve said...

Like the others have already stated, if I'm not working, the work phone is sitting on my desk - not moving. I'm a truck driver, so I already have to account for every hour of my day, and I can understand them using the GPS in the WORK phone while I'm WORKING. After that, as far as the company is concerned, I'm spending hour after hour, not moving from my house.

Dave H said...

FrankC: It said in the article that it's a company phone. Based on that, I'd say the company has the right to have that app installed on it. But if an employee is required to have the phone with them at all times (say, if she's a support person who's on call) then there needs to be a way to disable the tracking when the she's not working.

Murphy's Law said...

I guess I'll be the contrarian. Far as I know, no one forced her to apply for that job or stay at that job. She was always free to go find another one, and the fact that she's now suing and demanding a pail of cash because she wasn't willing to abide by the rules of that particular job OR just quit and go find another tells me that she's just a money-grubber.

Now would I want a phone that could track me 24/7? Hell no. But I'd just go get me another job, not play games with the employer until I got fired OR file a lawsuit.

Dave H said...

Murphy: I agree with you -except- that if the employer has broken the law by violating her legally protected privacy, he needs to be held accountable. Otherwise he'll keep doing it. But whether he has or not needs to be decided by a judge.

Murphy's Law said...

Dave,

There's no legal right to privacy at play here. This is going to be nothing more than an employment law issue that will turn on state law and the employment contract. She and her lawyer are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill here and attempting to try this case in the media and I suspect that it's because they know that if it's only heard in a courtroom and decided based on the law, they're done.

Ted said...

I agree with Murphy. She was doing outside sales. Even if she was strictly commission the company has a right to be able to require her to carry a tracking device while "working".

I would have loved that feature as a sales manager. You absolutely can not depend on outside sales people to accurately report thier time and effort. If you can close a big sale in a hour and then spend the rest of the day at the bar. That's OK. ( just file the paperwork ).

But don't tell me you've been seeing new prospects all day - when they are only fellow bar flys .

As for off hours - leave the phone at home .

abnormalist said...

Easy, their phone, their rules. Forward it to a google voice number that ports to your own phone. Leave work phone at home.

Paul Bonneau said...

I agree with Murphy too. Don't like your employer policies? Go find another job.

This is just an ambulance-chasing lawyer at work. The lawsuit is for $500,000.

Charles Lee Scudder said...

Problem though, in her state such things are illegal. 1708.7 covers the civil matter of it. I am still trying to find the criminal laws for it.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

@ Charles Lee Scudder: IANAL, but reading the statute (here), it looks like this doesn't meet all of the requirements under 1708.7.

There are three separate conditions that have to be met:

1) a pattern of conduct the intent of which was to [...] place under surveillance [...] the
plaintiff

This has been met, and does not appear to be disputed.

2) Either (a) The plaintiff reasonably feared for his or her safety, or the safety of an immediate family member, or (b) The plaintiff suffered substantial emotional distress, and the pattern of conduct would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.
This would seem to meet condition "b".

3) Either (a) the defendant made a credible threat, or (b) the defendant violated a restraining order.
Neither one of these appears to apply. With only 2 of the 3 requirements met, the statute doesn't apply.