Posted by Steve Chung
Add to the list of amazing capabilities that cell phones can perform, employee tracking. In the name of operational efficiency for businesses, British technology firms are offering tracking services that take advantage of mobile phone tracking technology. To put at ease civil rights groups’ concerns that this technology raises substantial privacy concerns, technologists list advantages such as knowing when an employee is stuck in a traffic jam or quickly locating and rerouting staff, for example, in the sales or freight industry.
Currently, in the U.K., there are strict regulations that require that an employee consents prior to an employer engaging in tracking. But inevitably grey areas and complications will arise. For example, what happens if you borrow your boss’s cell phone that has been activated for tracking? Will employees feel coerced into consenting to tracking? And if you have generally consented to have your own phone tracked, what is the scope of consent you have granted? The fact that this technology is so inexpensive and requires nothing more than a computer with Internet access very likely means that we will confront this issue in the U.S. in the near future.