Ten years ago the world was adjusting to the fact that people could access information in the privacy of their own home from the World Wide Web. Today, technology has taken society to another plateau; people can be tracked wherever they go from their cell phone or car. These devices work in real time and can provide an interested party with a wealth of information about the private daily activities of every person. Just as the introduction of the Internet to the workplace created new legal and policy issues, GPS tracking in the workplace implicates a new set of privacy concerns.
This report takes the reader through the current technology and law on this issue. It will first offer background information on how GPS technology works and what legislation has arisen in response to that technology. It will then evaluate the different ways GPS is being used by addressing recent media stories involving employers monitoring the physical location of their employees. Next, this report assesses ways for employees to protect their privacy, namely examining how GPS trackers can be turned off. The latter half of this report gives an overview on the current case law on this issue and identifies the balancing test that the courts have used to measure whether an employer has invaded an employee’s privacy. Finally, law review articles and journals on this issue are summarized to give the reader a different perspective and an idea on the general consensus of the legal community. While the introduction of GPS technology into the workplace has yet to be addressed by the courts, there are guidelines to assessing the policy and legal implications of this type of technology and its impact on workplace privacy.
The following report discusses and analyzes these issues.
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