Friday, May 15, 2015

George Orwell Should Have Worried More About Business Than Government

A California woman is suing her former
employer because she said her boss
monitored her 24/7 through the
workplace management app Xora. 
Talk about an overbearing boss! And a creepy one, if a story about a lawsuit that recently appeared in Ars Technica is true. 

The woman sying, Myma Arias, was fired from her job for the money transfer service Intermex, after disabling an app called Xora from her company-issued iPhone because it traced her every move.

It could tell where her car was going, how fast she was driving, how long she was at a given location, pretty much everything.

Arias said she had no problem with the app running while she was on duty working as a sales executive for the company.

After all, it's pretty reasonable for a boss to make sure the employee is meeting with the people she's supposed to meet with, was driving safely and working,  and not just hanging out at the nail spa or something like that.

The problem Arias said she had is that her boss, John Stubits, monitored Arias and coworkers while they were not on the job.  He could spy on her 24 hours a day.

Part of her lawsuit reads as follows, says Ars Technica. "Plantiff expressed that she had no problem with the app's GPS function during work hrs but she objected to the monitoring of her location during non-work hours and complained to Stubits tht this was an invasion of her privacy. She likened the app to a prisoner's ankle bracelet and informed Stubits that his actions were illegal. Stubits replied that she should tolerate the illegal intrusion."

You have to wonder why Stubits, the boss, was so interested in his employees' off work activities. Was it away to make them feel like they should be working when they are off the clock? Or is Stubits a creepy pervert who wants to know everything about his workers?

Whatever is going on, I think we should all be rebelling against this kind of corporate spying on its employees, just as we should rebel against blanket spying by the government against its own citizens.

Of course, employers have the right to fire employees whose activities on personal time are way over the line.

In Toronto recently, an engineer with a firm was fired after he enthusiastically supported, on camera, another bro who participated in a vulgar, misogynistic insult against a female television reporter, a quote, unquote joke that's gotten popular on social media.

Where I live in Vermont, a Vermont State Police trooper was forced to resign after his superiors caught wind of offensive posts he put up on Facebook.

So yes, there are circumstances where your private life, which isn't so private nowadays, can get you fired. Often justifiably so.

But where does the boss cross the line? Certainly, they shouldnt have the right to spy on your every move. Why should bossman care if you kick back with a beer while watching the game on Saturday afternoon? Or get randy with your spouse on Friday night?

I'm hoping the boss that was monitoring his employees' every move, and is the subject of that lawsuit, gets fired himself.

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