To spy or not to spy

A story on news.com.au called ‘Google “spy” app lets bosses keep tabs on workers’ caught my eye recently. For $15 per employee per month, an employer can see exactly where employees are, in real time, when they’re not in the office. And there’s no hiding: employees appear as pins on a map, even when they’re inside buildings.

The spin is that the app helps ‘organise teams on the move’ and employees can turn off the device (if they’re game). But, like checking out employees and job candidates on social networking sites, one wonders whether this app has legal implications to do with peoples’ right to privacy.

With about 30 per cent of the total workforce working off site, not to mention office-based workers on their lunch hour and employees who call in sick, there are a lot of potential ‘pins on the map’.

Questions for discussion

What do you think? Would you use this app to monitor your team members? If so, under what circumstance? Where would you ‘draw the line’? What do you think are the ethics surrounding checking up on an employee’s whereabouts?

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