With the growth in the implementation of GPS technology over the years, employers have started taking advantage of unprecedented access to their employee’s live location and whereabouts. For many years, employers all across the globe have been implementing technologies that can help track their field fleet and mobile employees’ locations using GPS-enabled devices. With the more recent advancements in technology, businesses have gained the ability to locate their remote employees using GPS mobile applications. But tracking comes with risks! Employers need to understand the potential risks to evaluate whether the benefits of using GPS to track their employees are enough to outweigh the risks. Keeping track of employee locations is a more accessible and cost-effective task. Insights gained with the help of monitoring the workforce’s location can help improve safety, record keeping, processes, and customer service. Nevertheless, it is crucial to maintain employee confidence in mind. Achieving innovative technologies at the business does not come without risk, as there is often no clear precedent — legal or otherwise — regarding the use of the information collected. In the following blog, we will look into the considerations to help employers create a reliable, safe, and trusted employee tracking app policy for using GPS tracking applications.
Location Tracking Based on State Laws:
All independent states have their unique laws under privacy laws that influence what employers and businesses can do when they track the location of their workforces. That is why the first thing to check includes the existing state laws in the area of your business operations. Another important check includes getting the team’s consent to track the employees to protect against potential legal issues. This will also help streamline the process of creating a good tracking policy.
Difference between Company-Owned and Personal Devices:
Employers all across the globe have the right to monitor the activities of their employees using company-owned devices rather than personal devices. If businesses distribute company-owned devices and laptops to their employees, they can easily keep the right to track them via IP address and GPS.
Tracking Work Vehicles:
Employers have the right to track the location of any business-owned vehicles used by the employees. As with the employee tracking app, company, and business-owned phones and laptops can be tracked without consent. However, consent to use the information of the employees is a mandate. For example, mobile teams deployed in field sales businesses, construction companies, and more can monitor the location of their crew to ensure team members are on time and their progress is monitored. It’s best to start with a quick legal disclaimer: As we’re not lawyers, we can’t give any kind of official advice here. We’ve done our research though and this is what we understand about monitoring employees’ movements with GPS. The EU’s laws around privacy and data protection restrict employers from placing tracking devices in their employees’ private vehicles without their consent. This is the case even if the company owns the vehicle. If you’re a UK based business and want to use GPS tracking for employee monitoring, then we’d recommend getting your staff to sign up to a fleet tracking policy, which you can find a template of here.
How to Craft a Legal Employee Location Tracking Policy?
When you grant the permissions for your location tracking policy, ensure to cover the following points for complete consent:
- How is tracking in the best interest of the company and the employees?
- The nature of the tracking devices used by the business
- Which data will be stored and used for activities?
- How will the data be used? Will the data be secured?
- Who will have access to the data?
Each business has its unique methodology that depends on the size of the team and the industry of operation. Before anything else, be clear with your intentions, contain the consent from your teams, and track employees using Connect My World.