Cell phone tracking is a rapidly growing industry that is becoming popular among business owners. It allows them to keep a check on their workers and ensure maximum productivity. Some employers, however, are not sure about the legality of spyware and are concerned it might expose their company to a lawsuit.
What is essentially meant by cell phone tracking is monitoring of all the activity taking place on a mobile phone using a tracking software, with or without the permission of the phone’s user. There are many spy apps available for all leading mobile operating systems that are used for this purpose, and the more advanced ones come with monthly or yearly charges. These apps record all the incoming and outgoing data in the phone, including calls, SMS, e-mails, communication via instant messengers ( Whatsapp, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger etc. ) and GPS locations. All this information is uploaded to an online server from where it can be accessed by the customer after logging in.
Using tracking software in office
With the help of such tracking software like mSpy, employers can find out the arrival and departure times of their workers in the office, for how long they use their cell phones during work hours, who they are communicating with and where they hang out during recess. This is to ensure that they come and leave on time, their work is not being affected by idle texting or chatting on their phones, and they are not in connection with suspicious individuals who could be agents from rival companies. Also, employees might be on a vacation during sick leaves, and by tracking their GPS location their boss can question them about it. In the transportation industries, GPS tracking can help locate which truck driver is closest to the site so he can be called over immediately. This technology therefore serves a greater purpose besides breaching a citizen’s privacy. Unfortunately, there are many cases in which employers have deliberately accessed personal data of their staff members that is not related to work, with the matter having been taken to the court.
The legality of spyware
The legality of spyware is not straightforward and the use of spy apps continues as more and more company managers are finding them useful. However, it could be deemed an invasion of privacy if the boss is tracking his/her workers without their consent or knowledge, or if there is evidence that he/she has intruded into their personal lives for no valid reason. Sometimes the employees are using laptops or cell phones provided to them by the company, in which case the employers have an excuse that they are tracking the equipment and not the person.
One of the first lawsuits over the use of GPS tracking by an employer was a Missouri case, Elgin v. St. Louis Coca-Cola Bottling Co., which took place in 2005. The bottling company installed GPS devices in their vehicles in order to investigate a theft. Since the employees were allowed to drive them off-duty as well, one of the drivers who had been cleared of suspicion sued the employer for violating his right to privacy. The court ruled that since the vehicles were owned by the company and the GPS tracking did not reveal anything other than what was already public, i.e. the location of the vehicle, the act did not constitute any significant invasion of the employee’s privacy.
Choosing the best Employee Tracking App
Once you decided to use the monitoring software the first step is to define the thing you want to monitor and then find the best app for this. A good monitoring app will let you see all call logs including the numbers associated with the call, time of call and duration. Some will let you to listen to these calls. You can also read all text messages, monitor internet activities, see all photos and videos stored on the phone and even locate the phone via GPS. After installing the app you will get a web account in which the data will be stored with unique log in details so only you can access it. We recommend you to use mSpy software as it is considered to be the best monitoring app on the market and possess over 20 tracking features.
Using mSpy can help every employer to prevent the use of company phones for personal purposes, prevent leakage of sensitive company information, stop harassment and stop all unproductive activities that will affect the company.
Setting up Employee tracking
There are a few basic steps every employer should follow when using such apps:
- When deciding what software to choose you should first identify the things you want to monitor and find an application suitable for your needs. A good monitoring tool enables you to get detailed information about the calls, messages, lets you see photos and videos stored on the phone and gives you the location of the phone any time you want
- Choose the best program and after installing it inform your employee that their phone is being monitored. Those that continue to work for you have accepted the fact that you are able to know how they use their phone which is a good way to find people that are loyal to you
- You can then log on your account at any time to see the everything you want to know about the phone you are monitoring
So use the technology that is legally available to you in order to boost your employee’s productivity and make sure they are not using their business phone in an inappropriate manner.
The ongoing debates
In Connecticut there is an Electronic Monitoring Act under which all employers are required to inform their workers of any electronic monitoring being carried out in the workplace. Electronic monitoring is defined by the Act as collection of information regarding the activities or communications of the employee within the confines of the work area. This is to allow them comfort in private places such as locker rooms and restrooms. In this light, GPS tracking of public vehicles even without prior notification does not violate the Electronic Monitoring Act, owing to the surveillance being carried out in the open and not in a private area.
Although there is still ongoing debate over the use of tracking software and devices, an employer should make sure that whenever any such surveillance is being carried out it should be in the interest of his/her business and not for any personal reason.