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December 27, 2017

GPS tracking : Tracking Your Employees, Ethical or Not?

 

GPS trackers are a boon to mankind and can be named as one of the most important inventions of this century. . It is installed in various devices like mobile phones, wrist watches, cameras and what not. We cannot agree more to the fact that navigating has become quite easy with the help of navigation tools that precisely show the best shortest route that can be taken along with the traffic details. But the possibilities of GPS tracking system are not constrained to these.

 

Invasion of privacy is one of the ethical issues of GPS tracking which is discussed about a lot. Knowing where a person is at any time can infringe a person’s basic freedom as such because the system can provide information about an individual even without their consent. At present there are no laws that are violated by tracking a person as such.

 

However, in the case of various industries employers save a lot of time and money by using GPS as an amazing tool to watch over their employees’ movements. For example in case of a package delivery service or fleet tracking in transportation industries, an employer can monitor if a particular employee is travelling to other locations without their consent. It varies according to job role or industry. It optimizes resources and saves time for the transportation industry. Let us take a look at how companies make use of GPS tracking services.

 

Bosch has recently installed GPS tracker onto their power tools successfully. Although GPS drains a lot of battery, they have installed it into corded models. It keeps track of where the tools are which reduces overtime. Moreover it helps in theft and misplacement recovery. Some of the other benefits include alerts to the cell phone regarding non-working hour activation or non-authorized location alerts. Tracking is free for the first 12 months and later on it will be $9.99 per month or $99 per year for the GPS tracking service to continue. Although a confirmation regarding this is yet to be clarified.

 

However, according to tech enthusiasts the tracking device installed in the tools will be a GPS25-4 retrofit tracking module that can be installed in all the current retrofit Bosch SDX-max hammers (10 models). However, the newer Bosch models like the GSH27-26 brute turbo breaker will have the GPS tracker pre-installed as standard equipment.

 

The device is one of a kind and is the exact reason for the hype. Earlier devices like Milwaukee’s Tick and One-Key or DeWalt’s Tool Connect systems etc were not capable of such extensive tracking as they were only able to connect to a mesh network through Bluetooth.

 

The use of GPS tracking can be perceived as a double edged sword. When employers are making use of GPS tracker to track the activities of employees, there is an ethical question whether tracking each and every activity of employees is a breach into personal privacy. But if there is a legitimate reason for tracking there it’s ethical and a necessity in today’s work atmosphere. Complete information about tracking and how they use this information should be rightly communicated to the employees.