Fired for deleting an app tracking her movements

A US employee says she was fired for deleting an app tracking her movements day and night

'My design space station on Earth orbit. The satellite has severalcommunication  anten.Also it maybe SPY, GPS satelite.'

If you ever thought your boss was guilty of watching your every move, then spare a thought for Myrna Arias, who claims she was fired from her job at money transfer company Intermex for deleting a GPS-based work app that allowed bosses to track her movements day and night.

The app is designed to keep an eye on employees who work remotely, to back up their mileage claims and time sheets. However, according to The Metro, Arias, from Bakersfield in California, claims her boss admitted he knew employees would be monitored when they were off duty too.

Her lawyer told the Ars Technica technology website that managers: "would tell her co-workers and her of their driving speed, roads taken, and time spent at customer locations. Her manager made it clear that he was using the program to continuously monitor her, during company as well as personal time."

She has now filed a lawsuit claiming she was wrongfully sacked. The court papers claim that Arias "expressed that she had no problem with the app's GPS function during work hours, but she objected to the monitoring of her location during non-work hours." Intermex had not responded to the site's request for comment at the time of wiring.

Can your boss spy on you?

In the UK there's no law to stop your boss tracking your movements and activities when you are at work, and in many cases you will be asked to sign up to this in your employment contract. There's a good chance that your emails are monitored, phone logs are checked and even CCTV cameras used.

New technology also allows employers to monitor the physical movement of employees around the building, to identify areas for improvement. Tesco, for example, asks warehouse employees to wear a wristband when they are at work that lets them check where they are in the warehouse - so they can be sent tasks specific to their location.

Many also keep en eye on employees when they are based outside the office, either through their phone or tracking their cars. Again, employees will sign up to this in their employment contract, where it will spell out what the tracking will do, and what it will be used for.

Your boss is not, however, entitled to monitor you in secret - regardless of their reasons. Neither are they allowed to monitor you without a legitimate business reason, and it's virtually impossible to think of a legitimate business reason why your employer needs to know your movements when you have finished for the day.

But what do you think? Are you monitored at work? And does it worry you? Let us know in the comments.

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