A U.S. House committee voted down an amendment that would have limited employer access to GPS data from company cell phones.
The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, would have banned GPS tracking during non-work hours and "for purposes other than legitimate business purposes." The amendment also required an employee's knowledge and consent for GPS tracking.
"It is reasonable to imagine legitimate business purposes for using GPS tracking technology during business hours – while an employee is carrying out their work responsibilities. It is simply wrong, however, that this tracking should carry over into the employee’s personal time – into their personal life. Certainly, not all employers would take advantage in this way, but the fact that there is no privacy law to protect employees from such behavior is indefensible."
The House committee chair argued that Shea-Porter’s amendment was beyond the scope of the bill under consideration. Although the bill is titled the Employee Privacy Protection Act, the bill deals exclusively with what employee information is shared with unions.
Other opponents of Shea-Porter’s amendment might argue that if a cell phone is company property, the company is justified in tracking that property however it sees fit.
Would you have supported Shea-Porter’s amendment? Let us know in the comments.