Where should we be drawing the line between a logistics tracking app and cyber stalking? Turns out, the difference might be hard to pinpoint.
To watch the video version of this article, click here.
Here’s what a Logistics Manager needs to be aware of, and the boundary lines that he/she really shouldn’t be crossing.
Logistics tracking devices or Apps are nothing new these days, and anyone that has a smart phone and uses one of the various map apps is constantly satellite tracked. The stark reality is that both Google and Facebook know you better than your parents, partners, friends and loved ones!
As this technology has grown, many companies are now using it as part of their logistics tracking and customer service. Even small businesses, like your local plumbers, have them in their little white vans, so Cheryl the office manager can tell irate customers that Bob the toilet un-blocker is on his way.
But this usually works better when they’re less than 4-8 hours away!
However, one company in California took this all a step further and had a ‘staff tracking app’ installed on employees’ work phones. Nothing sinister about that you might think…
The apps are great for:
- time management,
- personal security,
- and a myriad other reasons.
However, the issue arose with a travelling female sales executive, whose movements were being tracked 24 hours a day. That’s right, 24 hours – covering both work and personal time.
The device had been set so that it was unable to be turned off during non working or “private time”. I mean who wants your boss to know that every Thursday night you attend Knitters Anonymous, or involve yourself in over 50s Morris dancing on Sunday mornings!
Anyway, the female executive decided to uninstall the app due to ‘privacy’ reasons. And got herself fired for doing so. This was even after her boss boasted about the ability to know how fast she was driving down the highway.
So what’s happening now?
She is taking him to court for alleged unfair dismissal and invasion/breach of privacy to the sum of $500,000 USD.
And the moral of the story? Staff tracking apps should only for work time management and security, not be used for following each and every move an employee makes. And also, organisations need to be very careful about employee/employer gender and power dynamics, and how they could be interpreted.
It might just make you think again when an app on your phone asks to access your location!
Now where’s my phone…
Productive Minds work with Managers and Supervisors of Supply Chain Companies, providing people management training and mentoring to help leaders manage change, manage work stress and inspire creative problem solving in their teams.