13. February 2006 · Comments Off on Big Brother Will Not Be Government, But Employers · Categories: General, Technology, Working In A Salt Mine...

This from Matthew Jones at Reuters:

LONDON – Advances in mobile phone tracking technology are turning British firms into cyber sleuths as they keep a virtual eye on their staff, vehicles and stock.

In the past few years, companies that offer tracking services have seen an explosion in interest from businesses keen to take advantage of technological developments in the name of operational efficiency.

The gains, say the converted, are many, ranging from knowing whether workers have been “held up” in the pub rather than in a traffic jam, to being able to quickly locate staff and reroute them if necessary.


Kevin Brown, operations director of tracking firm Followus, said there was nothing covert about tracking, thanks to strict regulations.

“An employee has to consent to having their mobile tracked. A company can’t request to track a phone without the user knowing,” he told Reuters.

Obviously, despite any regulation, workers without strong market value will be compelled to submit to tracking, at peril of losing their jobs, or not being hired in the first place. All this is one of the sorry residuals of the industrial age: payment for effort, rather than results.

As for myself, I have a different paradigm for cell-phone tracking: If you want to know where I am, call me… If I want you to know, I’ll tell you.

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