Lawsuit Alleges Employer Forced Use Of 24-Hour Tracking App

MobilitySecurity
0 0 No Comments

Former California sales executive says she was obliged to use an iPhone app that tracked and recorded her movements while both on- and off-duty

A former California sales executive has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, alleging she was forced to use software on her company-issued iPhone that her supervisor used to track her and her colleagues around the clock, both on- and off-duty.

Myrna Arias, a former sales executive for Bakersfield-based money transfer service Intermex, claims in the lawsuit that her supervisor fired her shortly after she removed the Xora StreetSmart application from the device, comparing it to a prisoner’s ankle bracelet.

Privacy intrusion

internet privacyThe case highlights smartphones’ potential for privacy intrusions, which have long been discussed, but which more recently have become increasingly commonplace.

The Xora appliation, intended for the management of mobile workforces, includes features that allow employers to track and map users’ movements, pinpointing routes taken and a user’s location at the present time and at any particular point in the past. The software includes clocking-in and clocking-off features, but these don’t disable its tracking feature.

In the complaint Arias said her supervisor “admitted that employees would be monitored while off duty and bragged that he knew how fast she was driving at specific moments ever since she installed the app on her phone”.

‘Offensive’

Arias said she objected to being monitored in her free time, calling the practice illegal, but alleged her supervisor said she should “tolerate the illegal intrusion”. A group of colleagues agreed with Arias’ position, according to the lawsuit. She removed the application in April of last year and, after being “scolded” for doing so, was fired shortly thereafter.

“This intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person,” Arias’ lawyers argue in the filing, which claims invasion of privacy, retaliation and unfair business practices, among other things.

Arias is seeking damages in excess of $500,000. “What we have here is a really egregious situation,” Arias’s attorney, Gail Glick, told Courthouse News Service.

Do you know all about IT and the law? Take our quiz.


Click to read the authors bio  Click to hide the authors bio