In the New York Times Bits blog, Quentin Hardy talks about Google’s introduction of a product called Maps Coordinate that will allow you to locate your workers at all times. The company press release says the tool, “combines the power of Google’s mapping technologies with modern smartphones to help organizations assign jobs and deploy staff more efficiently.”
You can learn more about the product at the Google blog post, Introducing Google Maps Coordinate: Organize teams on the move. Daniel Chu notes that, “As the number of mobile employees continues to grow, so does the need for a location sharing solution that works in real-time. Research firm IDC estimates that there will be over 1.3 billion mobile workers by 2015 (37.2% of the total workforce).”

While there are definite advantages to a tool like this, reaction has been mixed. In an article in TimeGoogle Maps: Now Helping Your Boss Track Your Every Move — Victor Luckerson highlights some of the benefits of the tool, while noting privacy concerns and the continued encroachment of work life and personal life. Also see Lloyd Garver’s No place to hide from Big Brother.
Luckerson says, “Businesses will be trained by Google on the proper use of the app. But will they always play by the rules? Employers’ attempts to track employees off hours–on an alleged sick day, for instance–could open a whole new legal can of worms. “The issue is technology and innovation outpacing policy making to determine the rights and obligations related to tracking employees when off-work,” Coney said. “Litigation on an issue like this could be on where employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy or not.”


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