Like most people, you probably have a smartphone. And like most people, you use your smartphone for many things, like checking email, browsing the internet, and using apps. But did you know that your employer can track your phone’s location?
What is GPS Tracking?
This system employs the Global Positioning System to pinpoint the precise location of a person, vehicle, or other assets to which it is attached and to record the asset’s position at regular intervals.
The recorded positions can be retained within the tracking unit or transferred to a central monitoring station. GPS tracking is used for various applications, including fleet vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and personal tracking.
GPS Personal Tracking
This technology uses the Global Positioning System to determine a person’s exact location and record the person’s position at regular intervals.
GPS personal tracking units come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are small enough to be worn on a belt or in a pocket, while others are larger and must be carried in a backpack or purse. When it comes to personal phone tracking, the most popular type of GPS tracker is a phone app.
Many phone apps allow you to track another person’s whereabouts. All of these apps, however, share one feature: they use GPS to determine the location of the person being tracked.
GPS personal tracking systems are commonly used by parents to track the whereabouts of their children, by companies to track the whereabouts of their employees, and by law enforcement organizations to track the whereabouts of criminal suspects.
So, if you are wondering whether or not your employer can track your personal phone location, the answer is yes.
Is It Legal for A Company to Track Your Personal Phone?
The legality of employer phone tracking is a bit of a grey area. The main issue is employee privacy rights versus the company’s need to protect its interests.
Employers are within their rights to track employee phone usage for business purposes. This might include tracking work-related calls and texts, monitoring internet usage, or even using GPS to track employee location.
However, there are some limits to what employers can do. For example, they may be unable to track employee phone activity if it violates state or federal laws. Additionally, employers may need to get consent from employees before monitoring their phone usage.
Tracking Work Phones
If your employer provides you with a work phone, they likely have the ability to track its location at all times. This is because most work phones are set up with management software that allows employers to access and manage the devices remotely.
Depending on the software in use, employers may be able to trace the position of a work phone even when it is not in use. Some management software, for example, can provide employers with periodic information on the status of a work phone, even while it is switched off.
In other circumstances, employers may only be able to track the whereabouts of a work phone while it is turned on and linked to the internet. Even this can provide employers with a fair amount of information about an employee’s whereabouts.
Why Would an Employer Track Your Work Phone?
- For safety purposes. If an employee is working in a potentially dangerous environment, tracking their work phone can help employers ensure they stay safe and out of harm’s way.
- To keep track of company property. Since the employer typically provides work phones, they technically belong to the company. As such, employers may want to track work phones to ensure they’re not being misused or taken out of the workplace without permission.
- To keep tabs on their employees’ whereabouts and activities. This can help ensure that employees are working during their scheduled hours and track down employees who may have gone missing during working hours.
While there are a few legitimate reasons why an employer might want to track the location of their employees’ work phones, it’s important to note that this practice can also be abused. Employers should make sure that they have a valid reason for tracking work phone location data and that they only use this information in a way that benefits their employees.
Tracking Personal Phones
Employers may also be able to track the location of an employee’s personal phone if it’s used for work purposes. For example, many employers require employees to use their personal phones for work-related tasks such as checking email, scheduling appointments, and accessing work documents.
How Can an Employer Track an Employee’s Personal Phone?
Employers can track an employee’s phone if it is connected to the company’s network. However, there are some limitations to what employers can do. For example, they cannot track an employee’s location unless the employee has given permission.
They can also use a mobile device management (MDM) system. This system allows employers to access and manage employee phones remotely. They can also use a tracking app installed on the phone that tracks the user’s location.
Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity?
Employers can monitor employee internet activity as long as they have a valid business reason to do so. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if an employer monitors employee internet activity to discriminate against a protected class of employees, such as racial minorities or women, that would be illegal.