Worker Fired For Removing App That Tracked Her 24 Hours A Day

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, May 11, 2015.

  1. Yeah. I wouldn't put up with this. Simply logging this information is a pain in the balls.

    Having some freak actively tracking me, then harassing me with this info?

    That's a "shoot-a-motherfucker" offense.
     
  2. kbrickley

    kbrickley [H]ardness Supreme

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    If the company is actually reputable (hard to tell since some of the people she is suing are unknown) I doubt this will go to trial ... not because of the privacy aspect but because of the second part of her lawsuit (where they called the company she used to work for and told them she had violated their rules in order to blackball her) ... that is actually blatantly illegal under the current laws with no interpretation required ... if they settle I expect they will settle because of that
     
  3. Quix

    Quix 2[H]4U

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    Oh fun. I actually wrote a similar time-tracking program for smartphones. But ours only tracks location when the tech is clocked in to a job... on company time. I'll have to bookmark this article in case anyone ever asks me to add any ill advised "features".
     
  4. i960

    i960 Limp Gawd

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    I can't believe some of you are siding with the employer on this. No one should be a slave to their employer, and the whole "don't like it, quit and go somewhere else" attitude is very dangerous. "Oh, you're Jewish? Sorry, I don't like Jews, you're fired". That kind of shit was made illegal for good reason. Employment contracts are not always legal just because you signed it.

    No one should be tracked on their personal time, period. If it's not illegal, it should be. But let's get to the bigger issue. Why does a company need to track you at all, even on company time? You can locate a stolen phone after the fact without constantly monitoring its location 24/7. Or do what most companies do and just have the phone deactivated and issue a new one. Unless you have the latest flagship phone, they are stupid cheap and not even worth trying to recover.

    I suspect the real reason for this tracking had nothing to do with protecting company assets and had more to do with the guy being a creep, or a micro manager. Micro management is a shitty way to manage employees and is almost never worth the effort. There are loads of ways to monitor an employees performance without being over their shoulder constantly. If you can't trust the employee to do their job, then fire them. Or better yet, if you think micro management is a valid form of management, then fire yourself because you aren't qualified to be in a management position.
     
  5. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I think it really depends on the type of work involved. In general I think that any company should have to pay extra for any of this stuff, that should be a federal law. Like if you want to track employees you have to pay $1 / hour you track them. When a company is paying $24 / day to track a McDonalds cashier they will say well probably not worth it. But a company that has on call people might find it useful and worth the cost if they can appropriately pick the closest person to get them into work, and know if they are running dangerously short on on call workers that are close enough for a certain period of time. Same with email, and phone calls, if you're expected to answer phone calls or emails off work time then you should be paid an hourly rate worth say $.50 / hour / service.

    IMO the government can and should make simple rules that put the financial burden on the company and then see how they react. In general I think any "on call" employee should always have to be paid at least $4 / hour they are on call.

    Just the same I think a similar conclusion can be made about micro management. You ever see a sport coach, what do they do? They micro manage. Every movement you make, how you kick the ball, how you position yourself, everything. This is perfectly valid and necessary way to manage in this scenario. Sometimes employees really don't know what is best for them and they may have other talents you need. Micromanagement is a way to help that employee be the best employee they can be. If they wont listen to your advice then by all means fire them. But I promise you will have a hard time keeping enough employees in some lines of work if you just fire everyone that isn't doing the job perfectly.
     
  6. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha 2[H]4U

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    Odds are good that they will settle. so I concur. They won't want this to go to trial at all.
     
  7. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    This.

    Some of the crap you see on here is insane. You know many are American and their ancestors that came over here from wherever to get away from oppression would be rolling in their graves.
     
  8. NoXiN

    NoXiN Limp Gawd

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    my company, like many others is now offering to pay part of your bill if you use your personal phone for business. it's a decent deal financially, but i prefer to not have my company load my personal phone up with the company software.
     
  9. kbrickley

    kbrickley [H]ardness Supreme

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    I have two phones (company and personal) because if I had used my personal phone the company would have owned my old number and I didn't want to lose my phone number if I left the company ... they explained this up front though so I could choose whether to use my own or get an additional company phone
     
  10. redrage

    redrage Limp Gawd

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    If you are on call then it is not totally unreasonable to have the monitoring on a company issued phone. If you find it unreasonable.. tell your boss you do let them give you your options. You don't like those options then talk to a lawyer find out if you have any recourse. If not, you dust off your resume.

    if it where me i would just deal cause I don't care.. but if I did I care Turn it off, leave it at work, leave it at home going to dinner, duct tape it to a messenger bike...

    Phones i've issued do have monitoring on them mainly for lost phones and security breaches... but people think that when they get a company phone that it is theirs and install/uninstall put on their own iTunes, Google accounts and fill it with music, photos and videos. While we really don't care much as long as they get their work done they seem to get upset when their kids get the device and wipe it after they put in the wrong code

    heck for all we know they could've been tracking her because they where planning a surprise "awesome employee" surprise party! :D
     
  11. DragonNOA1

    DragonNOA1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I wish I could tell my stalker girlfriend it's illegal to track me via phone. Geez. I know exactly how this woman feels.
     
  12. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Nope, nowhere near good enough.
     
  13. Kelby

    Kelby Gawd

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    Just turn it off when you go to her sister's house.
     
  14. jcollett

    jcollett Limp Gawd

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    Sorry if this has already been posted, but if she needs to be on-call 24x7 but wants to avoid the GPS element, then forwarding the calls to her private cell would solve this issue.
     
  15. mesyn191

    mesyn191 2[H]4U

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    Some of them will still log info. and location. When the device is turned on again it'll then transmit it to the server its supposed to go.

    You have to pull the battery to actually stop some of this software to make sure the phone is ---really--- off but some phones don't have removable batteries. Guess which phones get given out to employees or are required as a BYOD for these sorts of places?

    This stuff has been out there for years. I'm still shocked with how blase people are about smartphones and what these devices can do from a privacy and civil rights perspective. You're basically carrying a bug around with you at all times.
     
  16. mesyn191

    mesyn191 2[H]4U

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    Read the article. And thread. Already been posted about and disscussed several times.
     
  17. qdemn7

    qdemn7 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I have noticed some of the biggest complainers about government "oppressing" people in some fashion with laws, rules, regulations and taxes are perfectly fine letting businesses do anything they want to employees.
     
  18. mesyn191

    mesyn191 2[H]4U

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    Yeah. They're extreme Authortarians who probably vote against their own interests frequently and given the chance would happily support a Fascist govt.

    Great but depressing read on the subject: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/
     
  19. Mystique

    Mystique Limp Gawd

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    The scary thing is the amount of people here calling her an idiot, for no wanting a human tracking device that she couldn't get rid of on her 24/7. Like someone here said, that's a terrifying future, and you all should think about what you're advocating here.

    No one should have to live this life if they don't want to, period.
     
  20. qdemn7

    qdemn7 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Oh yes, great book. I think many of these super-pro-business types really long to be running their own (big) business so they can act like a "Tin-plated dictator with delusions of godhood" over as many other people as possible.
     
  21. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Make up your mind. You're either extreme Libertarians in which case bordering on anarchistic ideology, or you're an extreme Authoritarian in which case you would support Fascism.

    But there is a big difference between public and private, isn't there? If you were to open a business, we have a private agreement to work together, which either of us can break at any time. You don't have to buy my services and I don't have to sell them to you. Its a nice voluntary arrangement.

    The government by contrast, if you make XYZ demands, I can't say no. There's no mutual agreement there, just the use of force to achieve compliance by taking away my goods and/or my freedom.

    Not really the same thing at all if you put aside emotion and actually use your noggin.
     
  22. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Only a brainwashed fool would think of government as purely evil and businesses/Capitalism as purely good to the degree that they think that there is unlimited competition between businesses such that they actually have to compete on how they treat their employees. This is not la la land and the fact is that businesses can be and often ARE even worse than government.

    You're not living in the real world, Ducman, if you think that being a private business excuses this behavior. Take a step back out of your bias.
     
  23. mesyn191

    mesyn191 2[H]4U

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    Libertarianism and Fascism are ideologies. Authoritarian, in the context of the linked article, is a personality type. Read the linked book, its free and well researched, don't knee jerk out terribad posts.

    Not if the company is big or powerful enough no.
     
  24. GaryJohnson

    GaryJohnson [H]ard|Gawd

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    As far as I'm concerned if you're required to carry and monitor a work phone then you're not on-call, you're working. I had an issue at a past job because they wanted me to answer the company cell 24x7 off the clock. Well it got 40-50 calls a day. I'm not doing that for free. I put every block of calls on my timecard, rounded up to the nearest hour.
     
  25. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Speaking of using your noggin, I've always found this to be an extremely limited argument for multiple reasons, namely that it ignores all externalities. Like say I've been looking for work for 3 months and this is the only job I've found. I don't have the freedom to just leave, unless it's the freedom to be homeless and hungry. That's not freedom at all, no sane person wants that. There's usually a disproportionate balance of power also. The company knows the employee can be replaced if there's too much trouble with him or her, but since we've done a pretty good job dismantling unions, there's not really a force that has bargaining power on their behalf.

    Finally, you make it sound like everyone is so forced by government, but not by corporations. The reality is the average person is helpless either way. If a big company starts a strip mining operation near you and it affects your well water (but there are an army of lawyers from them waiting to tell you it's a coincidence), you're not even part of that agreement. You're as helpless as if the government passes a law that negatively affects you.

    The difference between the two is motive. Most corporations operate like sociopaths, where the idea is to increase profit at all costs. Damage to environment, worker rights, general ethics is acceptable so long it doesn't affect profits. Most of modern government has been captured by lobbyists, so they're not much different, but there are at least PIECES that are for the people. I'll take a thug that sometimes has a conscience over a Patrick Bateman any day.
     
  26. i960

    i960 Limp Gawd

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    There are certainly exceptions. Training/teaching/coaching are areas where micro management is acceptable. I don't know if would even call that micro management though. I'm mostly talking about situations where your supervisor is constantly hovering over you, checking on you frequently, telling you how to do your job and constantly making micro adjustments to your methods, calling daily meetings, etc. That might be ok with a new employee who is learning the ropes, but some of these micro managers will do it to veteran employees who sometimes have been in the company longer and know the processes better than the manager. I think they are doing it more for control reasons rather than to improve the employee's work performance.

    I think a better idea is to measure actual work output on a reasonable schedule. For instance, if you have a car salesman, you can track how many sales he made in a month. If he is constantly under performing compared to his coworkers, then you have an issue and you can fire him, or provide additional training or whatever. But it doesn't require you to stand there and watch him work all day every day and interject with suggestions. People who work under such conditions tend to hate their jobs, and will often do the bare minimum necessary to keep their job.
     
  27. Uvaman

    Uvaman Gawd

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    I have not found the reference to the 24/7 on call requirement.. maybe I missed it.
    Still, even then, on call vs. being tracked and having the phone on you all times are different things, regardless of company phone or not.
    I think she has a good case.
     
  28. I wonder if violation of her privacy by sharing that info with other workers could constitute unreasonable invasion of privacy since it has nothing to do with her work. (Where, when and how long she goes someplace)

    I had to pull someone aside here at work for talking about another persons private medical information. We're not a hospital but private information is PRIVATE and not relevant to work. It could create a hostile workplace.
     
  29. Kaitian

    Kaitian [H]ardness Supreme

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    I work for a Fortune 50? (it's way up there in the 500 list) company and not even my company is this retarded to track employees this way. I'm on call 24/7 but I most certainly am told that they do not track me and just expects me to respond as reasonable as possible. There are redundancies in place if I don't respond anyways. So it's not like the company will burn down to the ground without me.
     
  30. raz-0

    raz-0 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I've read a few articles on this now. It seems that the company could give a crap about tracking them off hours, but the software is crap in that regard. On top of that her immediate supervisor seemed to be a creep who was abusing the fact that the software was crap to spy on his employees beyond the requirements of the company as a whole.
     
  31. wgm3446

    wgm3446 Gawd

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    Well... it's a technicality, but if she didn't agree to any terms she may have a case. As one that works in info sec and compliance, you need to have all your ends covered. Any devices we hand out, we have have usage policy of an issued device. If they don't agree to the terms, then they don't get the device.

    If they have a signed document saying you expect no privacy from your company issued device then she's done for. Otherwise, she may have a case.
     
  32. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If that is true, it would make her case a lot trickier, but the fact of the matter is that companies can't legally demand anything they want in a contract. There are - rightly - many clauses in contracts that have been ruled illegal and invalid. This case here is enough of a breach of privacy that it should be considered illegal and invalid, but there is a chance that it won't be (by the court).
     
  33. T_A

    T_A Limp Gawd

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    I`v seen people who had that app or had other cell tracking service.
    My advice - if you insist on taking the phone home , turn it off and if your employer has a problem with it , leave.
     
  34. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    But She doesn't have to. She doesn't have to at all. If that's how she feels she can do exactly what other's have said and dust off that resume.

    The real power business has over people is that too many people are scared to quit. The more technical the business the more It hurts when their people quit. It's not that thy can't find new people, it's that it always costs them money to do so.

    So then comes the question, why is it people can't quit and that's because they are in too much debt to quit. They have made themselves slaves of a different kind. If you want to free yourself you have to get yourself out of debt, then you have some power over your life again. Why are there so many people living life outside the norms, they're free, and for some of them it's worth it maybe. They are the powerless free, versus the free with power. Still, freedom is alot for a lot of people.
     
  35. wgm3446

    wgm3446 Gawd

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    True, let's just say if you're a network admin and the policy states, "Don't look at Porn on the company network." And the admin sees it, he has a responsibility to report it to management.

    Same thing applies to company policy devices. Before I issue any device, I tell them don't use it for family stuff whatsoever. We have to audit them for security purposes and if there is something you don't want me to see, then do use it for that purpose.

    I also have the ability to remote wipe the device on demand if I wanted to. Tracking is possible, but I've never had to use it. However, if my superiors come in and tell to track a company device, I do it. No questions asked.
     
  36. wgm3446

    wgm3446 Gawd

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    Then don't use it for that purpose*

    I wish I could edit my posts...
     
  37. Makaveli@BETA

    Makaveli@BETA 2[H]4U

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    She wouldn't have to stalk you is you showed her you were trustworthy.

    ;)
     
  38. wgm3446

    wgm3446 Gawd

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    You do need to look at it through a security stand point as well. It's a company asset. If she holds Personal Identifiable Information (client data such as SSNs, Account #'s, etc.) on that device, constant tracking on those devices are required in the form of compliance, and regulations.
     
  39. wgm3446

    wgm3446 Gawd

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    After re-reading the document she worked for a wire transfer company. That device HAD to be tracked all the time if it was stolen.
     
  40. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Problem is they force employees to accept these things, so it actually doesn't matter that this has to do with a phone at all. The core issue here is that they are tracking her whenever they want. It has nothing to do with phones in specific.