Cell phones are being used on a daily basis by most organizations and companies to remain in contact with their employees. There are multiple reasons for having cell phones in the office, especially when using Blackberries or iPhones since the apps involved allow users to carry on their work direct from their devices. But this practice of having cell phones at the workplace comes with a price: cell phone tracking at the work place.
The concern is whether it is right for an employer to monitor their employees’ activity and further, if using cell phone spy on workers is permissible then to what extent? A recent case in which doctors being monitored at a hospital addressed this situation was in Israel.
Monitoring Employee Clock Ins
The Sheba Medical Center in Israel has faced criticism as of late due to their employee cell phone tracking practices. The doctors at the center claim that the management monitors their activities and uses Cell Phone Spy (you can visit the hompage of CellSpyExpert here) to keep an eye on their whereabouts when they are not at work. Perhaps this would have been taken lightly but the center clearly violated a pre-settled agreement with the workers.
Accordingly, back in August 2011 a wage agreement was signed reassuring the workers that the cell phones they used to clock in and out of work would be used for no other purpose. The deal was that doctors would sign in and out at the beginning and end of their shifts respectively. But the accusations leveled at the medical facility claim that this is not the case. In actuality they say their location is being tracked by the hospital’s director.
The sword is double edged here. The hospital conceives certain activities outside the hospital campus as work hours and deems themselves fit to keep in check the activity of their workers. But even so, this was never agreed to in the agreement. This matter was highlighted so much that the IMA issued a statement against the hospital’s director and his wrongful usage of the technology: using cell phone tracking was never agreed to.
In response to all the mayhem, the hospital rightly pointed out a clause in the agreement that allowed the hospital management to employ cell phone tracking and to ‘occasionally’ collect location data from the firm. The management also claims that this was done continuously since the reports they received showed half the work force signing in from their home locations. Upon further investigation and after consent from senior doctors, it was found that there was indeed a glitch in the system.
Glitch in the system or users?
The whole act of spying on employees was claimed to be due to the testing out of the cell phone technology. And of course it was said it would stop once a final test is run in a month’s time to see whether the technology glitches have been removed or not. But this seems to be nothing more than a homespun story. However, even if there is truth in the matter, the IMA still believed that the SMC administration should have had faith in the loyalty of its employees and not have questioned them as though they were criminals.
Whosever side you take in this matter, the truth remains that it’s a moral gray area. There are clauses in agreements which usually end up giving the privacy violator a way out one way or the other or by granting rights that make cell phone spy permissible. Hence, it is necessary that in the future both sides be clear as to the purpose of using GPS and spyware apps in the workplace to avoid controversies like this.