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Can Employers Track Your Location?

 With the recent increase in remote working that was sparked amid the COVD-19 pandemic, more and more companies are calling upon location tracking technology to observe employee location and work activity. Naturally, there are legitimate business reasons why companies utilize apps and GPS tracking devices for tracking employees’ locations or internet activity. But what rights do workers have when it comes to employee monitoring, and what are the boundaries when it comes to employee tracking. This article tackles those topics and provides insight on some of the things you need to know about  employee monitoring. Now, let’s dive in!

Can Employers Track Your Location

Tracking An Employee's Location With GPS Tracking

If a business wants to track an employee the most common tool they will use is a GPS tracking device. What a GPS device will do is record an employee’s whereabouts and other valuable data. This data collection and information will consist of historical GPS location, how fast a driver was going, how long they were at a place, the address of that place, and other information related to travel history. Employee tracking can even be done in real time where employers can see the exact location of a driver and know if they are driving safely. When it comes to GPS tracking company vehicles here are the 5 things you need to know.

1. Bosses Can Legally Track Company Vehicles & Assets

2. Tracking Your Employees Personal Vehicle Is Illegal (Unless The Employee Gives Consent) 

3. Tracking Apps Can Be Installed On Company Phones

4. In Some States, An Employee Must Give Consent For Location —Tracking Even On Company-Issued Phone

5. It Is Illegal To Install Apps On Their Personal Phones For The Purpose Of Tracking (Unless The Employee Gives Consent) 

Basically, installing any spyware or location tracking apps on the personal phones of employees is illegal unless that employee gives consent. The same thing applies to using tracking devices on personal devices as well as an employee’s personal vehicle. But are bosses allowed to monitor company cars that employees operate or computers employees use for work? The answer is yes! But there are some important things to know about tracking your employees. 

Using Spyware To Track Company Computers 

Businesses have every right to utilize spyware technology on company-owned devices such as cell phones and computers. They can even use the spy gear to monitor internet browsing history, tracking screenshots, a phones’ location and social media activity. Companies can even call upon these records and use them as evidence of any potential wrongful termination lawsuits. Basically, if you are using company equipment they can legally track what you are doing. 

Using GPS Devices To Track Company Vehicles 

Tracking your employees in company-owned vehicles is legal in most states, but the guidelines are a little more complex than the previous example of how spyware is used to track company-owned devices. For example, if a business has a company vehicle, in some places it is required that the employee give consent to being monitored. Regardless, if the employer was using a GPS device for something as simple as auto-theft security. There is also the issue of unions, many of which have agreements in place that address the topic of employer motoring in more detail. 

I Don't Want To Be Tracked By My Boss

Bosses can track your internet activity conducted on company-owned devices as well as location data gathered from GPS tracking devices installed on company-owned vehicles. But what can you do to stop employers from tracking everything you do? Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do in regards to securing your privacy rights from an employer outside of simply choosing not to take the job. In fact, hidden security cameras are now used to record everything that goes on inside a bank, grocery store, gas station, and nearly every retail store. This is something we all have agreed upon as a society is good for security even if it means a reduction in privacy. This same logic can also be applied to business owners who want to make sure employees are doing what they say they are doing. 

The ubiquity of technology is something that is only going to become more prevalent as employers call upon technological devices to help improve management. This means GPS vehicle trackers, keystroke loggers, spyware, and other surveillance equipment will continue to be called upon to boost security and productivity. 

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