Employee Tracking System
As a businessman or businesswoman, your sole focus has to be doing what is best for the company. Sometimes this means downsizing staff, reducing 401 K benefits, keeping employees who you might not personally get along with and more. Business people have to make these tough calls in an effort to improve operations, internal relationships and the bottom line. In a world where efficiency is a top priority, production needs to be accountable and things need to be getting done at all times. This is why many companies have been investing in performance observation tools such as field employee tracking apps and GPS vehicle trackers.
Every person’s ethics and personal beliefs may all vary, but one thing all successful business people, entrepreneurs, and titans of industry have in common is the ability to improve internal operations, maximizing talent and resources to the best of their capability. As Yankees owner George Steinbrenner once said, “Every man believes he only has 100%. I believe every man has the ability to give 110%, and I want to show that man he is capable of achieving more than even he imagined.”
Utilizing field employee tracking apps or vehicle tracking technology is the right thing to do for any business looking to cut internal waste and boost employee production/accountability. This is especially important today with gas prices continuing to climb, margins being razor-thin and the competition getting tougher and tougher.
Through the use of GPS fleet tracking software and hardware, a company can determine the speed a driver is going to make sure they are not operating at unsafe speeds, check for abuse of company equipment or simply account for each driver’s mileage when it comes tax time. However, some employers are wondering if using GPS vehicle tracking to monitor employees is the right thing to do and the answer is a very simple yes. A few of the benefits have already been outlined on how GPS tracking devices can help a business and the data research shows that companies using GPS tracking devices can improve productivity while reducing inefficiencies. But to address the privacy argument that somebody could make when opposing the use of GPS trackers in the workplace the answer is simple: surveillance technology is already part of the workplace in every sector of business. Video cameras watch over bankers, inside restaurants or almost any retail store. Those in the white-collar world have company emails that can be checked without consent and computers scanned for inappropriate activity. Imagine a banker saying they did not want a video surveillance camera on while they were working because they felt it was an invasion of privacy? The thought is simply laughable. There the analogy is made when looking at a company driver driving a company vehicle while working on company time.
Investment in GPS tracking units for fleet management is a wise investment for any business whether they are large Fortune 500 companies or small local businesses. In the end, business is about efficiency and productivity, and nothing is more synonymous with those two terms than GPS monitoring.
Can You Track An Employee’s Phone?
Court GPS Tracker Decision May Reach Cell Phones
Privacy is something that has vanished at an increasingly exponential rate as technology has progressed. That is because with all of the vast benefits associated with technological devices; computers, smartphones, and websites are now essentially programmed to monitor what people do in order to create a more personalized, user-friendly experience. While many people have embraced how search engines, websites, and smartphones have recorded personal information to market products and services more specific to what that individual may be interested in, many others have raised concerns about privacy. Although nothing in the short-term suggests search giants and smartphone manufacturers will no longer analyze data collected via cookies and GPS tracker data, a recent Supreme Court decision regarding the police use of GPS tracking devices could impact the way personal information is collected from popular electronics devices.
When a case involving law enforcement who equipped a suspected drug dealer’s automobile with a GPS tracker went to the Supreme Court, gadget enthusiasts, police agencies and privacy advocates all waited and stood by with a watchful eye. That is because the decision, whichever way it was decided, was believed by many to be ground-breaking, and precedent-setting for years to come. What the Supreme Court Justices proclaimed in a closely decided 5-4 vote was that police would not be given the freedom to place a GPS vehicle tracker on a vehicle without first obtaining permission in the form of a warrant. Basically, the decision stated that police would not be allowed to track or monitor any person.
But if it is not acceptable for police to monitor private citizen activity, why is it still okay for businesses to monitor people?
Every day people use their mobile phones to send text messages, get directions using navigation mobile apps, play games, social network and of course send and receive phone calls. Mobile technology is useful, time-saving and literally makes life and communication a litter easier. Unfortunately, mobile phones are also treasure chests of personal information and that private data has significant value to many companies. This is because mobile phones collect locational data of everywhere a person goes, cookies store the favorite websites a person enjoys and so much more. This data can help businesses better target market but shouldn’t a person have ownership of their own personal data? Shouldn’t they have the ability to veto a third party agency purchasing their personal information? Sadly, these questions will continue to go unanswered for some time because businesses really only care about profit and if they can sell personal data acquired from mobile users using their services why would they stop the revenue stream? Only time will tell if lawmakers will step in and set boundaries and privacy guidelines when it comes to harvesting data from mobile phone users, and it is very possible that the Supreme Court GPS tracking ruling could be used as some sort of precedent if a trial reaches that level.
Are you okay with mobile phone companies, service providers and app makers having access to the locational and private data stored upon your smartphone?
Company Vehicle Tracking and The Law In Illinois
In 2012 the United States Supreme Court made a groundbreaking decision on the use of GPS trackers among police and other government agencies using the locational technology to track potential criminal suspects. What the justices decided in a narrow vote was that the use of a GPS tracker to monitor a potential criminal should first come with a warrant. Although first obtaining a warrant before using a GPS tracking device sounds rather trivial it was in fact a major decision that impacted the way many police agencies conducted operations. It also was a sticking point among privacy advocates who felt police (over) use of GPS trackers was infringing on privacy rights. Although the court ruling on GPS trackers was certainly a historical one it failed to distinguish additional methods in which GPS data could be obtained. More specifically the highly debated controversies about the acquisition of cellular data. That might all change though if a new bill backed by Daniel Biss, an Illinois Senator, makes its way through the House of Representatives.
What Biss wants is a new bill to address monitoring outside of the use of personal GPS tracker hardware. Basically, a bill that would have any police or government agency to first obtain a warrant before accessing locational data on any individual and/or their property. As Biss explained, locational monitoring is an ever-increasing form of data collection especially now that so many people have smartphones with GPS bedded data in them. This type of locational information should be deemed private and unfortunately the current high rulings on GPS tracking to blanket all locational-based monitoring. Clearly, people support law enforcement and want them to have the tools necessary to do the most efficient job possible, but that should never mean infringing on the privacy of a person considered innocent until proven guilty. Bias’ backed Senate bill would extend privacy protection to information or data gathered from any digital devices of a suspect. This is something privacy rights advocates are very enthusiastic about. The Biss backed bill received no opposition as it moved through the Senate and is now awaiting consideration from the House of Representatives.
Are you concerned mobile app companies, search engines, cellular providers, social networking websites and other online sources are storing your personal data? Are you concerned your private data is being used and sold to third party agencies?
Sage is a freelance writer with a background in information technology.