In our connected world, privacy is becoming harder to maintain from the government, hackers, and, now, your boss. The latest privacy intrusion comes courtesy of a business app called Xora.
This job management app/service helps a company keep track of its on-the-go employees. That includes sending them jobs, knowing what times they worked, and tracking where they go to make sure they are where they're supposed to be.
As long as the employee agrees to the tracking, that's fine and even useful during work hours. Unfortunately, Xora doesn't stop there. It turns out it keeps tracking your location, and sending it to your employer, even when you're "clocked out" in the app.
That's led to a lawsuit in California. A sales executive named Myrna Arias discovered the app's constant monitoring after her manager at Intermex allegedly told her he was monitoring her even on her personal time.
Arias uninstalled the app from her company-issued phone and was fired shortly afterward. Now she's suing for $500,000 due to "invasion of privacy, retaliation, unfair business practices, and other allegations."
I'm not a lawyer, but here are some of my thoughts on this case and what employers and employees everywhere can learn from it.
1. Companies need to clearly spell out their monitoring practices to employees, in writing, when the employee is hired, or when something changes. That way, there are no surprises like this.
2. Arias shouldn't have uninstalled the app. It was on a company phone and the company can do with its property what it wants. She should have worked with the company on the problem, and, in the meantime, turned the phone off when she wasn't working.
3. Xora needs to update its app to turn off tracking and monitoring when employees are clocked out. Unless you're an organization like the CIA, there's no reason to keep monitoring employees on their personal time.
Those are my thoughts. What do you think of the app and how Arias handled the situation? Let me know in the comments.