Worker tracked with GPS 24/7 fired for deleting app

12 May 2015

A case bought before a judge in California claims that a now former employee of a company was fired from her job after she uninstalled a GPS app that tracked her movements at all times.

The plaintiff, Myrna Arias, had worked for a company called Intermex, which deals in financial transactions, as a sales executive and, according to her statement, it forced all of its employees to install the tracking software on their phones.

According to Ars Technica, the app in question is called Xora (now known as ClickSoftware), which was designed to track a company’s workers and digitally monitor their daily output in what is advertised as contributing to greater efficiency.

Her Plaintiff statement went on further to say that, when discussing the app, her employer, John Stubits, had admitted that, despite it being for use during work hours, he was monitoring her and other staff outside of office hours.

Stubits admitted that employees would be monitored while off duty and bragged that he knew how fast she was driving at specific moments ever since she installed the app on her phone, the court document said.

Man monitoring world map

Man monitoring global map image via Shutterstock

Made it clear she was being watched

“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.”

Arias then said Stubits ‘scolded’ her for uninstalling the app following the previous conversation but Arias’ attorney, Mary Glick, said in a statement to Ars Tehcnica that the app’s design allows for it to be turned off at will.

“The app had a ‘clock in/out’ feature which did not stop GPS monitoring, that function remained on. This is the problem about which Ms Arias complained,” said Glick.

“Management never made mention of mileage. They 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.”

Xora’s promotional video last year highlights the employee’s ability to clock out, going against the claims made against Stubits.

Woman tracking GPS image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic