An employer tracked a man through a GPS enabled app that they required him to install on his cell phone, then fired him when he was seen at a competitor’s place of business.

The employer claims that they weren’t tracking him, but his location just happened to show up on the supervisors screen. I’m betting that every employee’s location was known 24/7 with this app.

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Steve · January 10, 2023 at 8:22 am

When your employer requires you to put tracking software on your personal phone, That’s when you get a second phone for personal use and designate that phone for work use only.

Aesop · January 10, 2023 at 9:38 am

1) If an employer requires any such nonsense, they just bought that phone, and the monthly bill.
2) Discovery on the inevitable lawsuit should be quite revealing. And lucrative.

    Toastrider · January 10, 2023 at 11:43 am

    This. SO much this. It’s one thing for my boss to have my cell phone number, but the day they ask me to install an app is the day I tell them to buy me a phone to go with it.

Anonymous · January 10, 2023 at 10:03 am

I bet it’d be hard for a phone to gossip about you from inside a die-cast aluminum box from the electronics industry. Get one without a waterproof rubber gasket so the lid has a better electrical connection to the base.

    joe · January 10, 2023 at 6:13 pm

    or a faraday bag…all of our work vehicles have multiple ways of tracking enabled…verizon fleet software, video systems, radios…all gps tracked…

    Roy · January 10, 2023 at 7:59 pm

    No need to go through all that, anonymous, any old metal can with a tight fitting metal lid will do – something like what cookies sometimes come in.

Steve S6 · January 10, 2023 at 11:01 am

App? On my flip phone? LMAO.
Business opportunity to write app that spoofs your GPS location.

Mudbug Calhoun · January 10, 2023 at 1:06 pm

But, but, but, isn’t everything made just for my convenience?

TRX · January 10, 2023 at 1:51 pm

I’m carrying a cheap flip phone. It doesn’t do “apps.”

If it weren’t for the fact that I have a client willing to pay to be able to get hold of me, I wouldn’t carry a phone at all.

I got my first cellular phone in 1995; a big Motorola brick. I wasn’t real happy about how I could be tracked by it, but the phone has to keep tagging towers so it can receive an incoming call, not really any different from a land line; they know there the line terminates, after all.

Things rolled along like that until the smartphones came out, and “apps”, and every “app” seemed to have built-in tracking and demanded access to things it didn’t need. Exactly why does a solitaire game need access to someone’s dialing directory and call list? I stayed with my ancient 2005 phone until it finally died of old age a couple of years ago, and replaced it with a modern equivalent.

I’m a tech geek and “early adopter”, but, like the Amish, I don’t adopt anything without looking at it from all angles first, and knowing the downsides as well as the upsides. A plain old cellular phone is pretty much the extreme limit I’m willing to voluntarily put up with, as far as invasion of my privacy.

A couple of friends who have also had “security” in their job titles went all-in for the phones, and Ring cameras, and Amazon Echos. They *know* the things are listening and watching all the time, but they’re so used to living under surveillance they don’t see anything wrong with it.

Exile1981 · January 10, 2023 at 3:01 pm

My employer provides a company cell with spywwre and trackibg apps. In 5 years it has never left my desk drawer or thecardboard box it came in. The number is forwarded to my cell. Funny but twice i got a bonus for going a full year with zero use of the phone in a moving vehicle.

D · January 10, 2023 at 8:18 pm

As an employer who employs technical people who have access to sensitive data, I’ve always told my employees: “We do not track where you are, or what you spend your time doing on your computer, phone, etc…we trust you to not use your work property for personal stuff, to keep client data secure, to not abuse the access you have, and to not slack off from your duties. If we suspect you are untrustworthy, you won’t have a job.”

Out of ~15 people over the past ~6 years, only one ended up being a slacker and tracking his location or installing spyware on his computer probably wouldn’t have caught it.

I think it’s disrespectful to treat your employees that way–but I will say I think it’s perfectly fine for an employer to track. They should just be up front about it.

Elrod · January 11, 2023 at 9:34 am

Well, this is a “private sector event” so….if you don’t like what the dealer gives you, move to a different table.

In Florida, local and state government is ruled by the Sunshine Law, and the less-stupid government employees (notice I used “employee” rather than “worker”) never, under penalty of death or worse, uses his or her government-issued cell phone (or computer) for anything that could possibly be construed as “personal,” nor do they use their personal cell phone (or computer) for anything that could possibly be construed as “work related.” In Florida, anyone with pulse and respiration can request government documents and information, including cell phone (and computer) records, in exchange for – usually – modest fees; there are, in fact, entire colonies of people who do little else. Most are called “media;” some are called “attorneys;” others are called “activists.”

As for our private-sector tow truck driver in the story, I suspect that, while his IQ remains quite reliably unchanged, his “Operational Intelligence Quotient” may have been boosted a few points.

Today’s word(s) is “Faraday Cage” brought to you by the number “0” and the words “dumb,” “unemployed,” and “now you know why some of us have two phones.”

Anonymous · January 11, 2023 at 9:34 am

So, Bubba couldn’t just leave the phone at home for the time it took to fill out a job application? · January 19, 2023 at 2:56 pm

Best of luck!

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