If you watch the video for the software and app sold by Xora, you'll probably agree that it's impressive. It is designed to monitor the location of employees in the field, match them up with customers and track their work. It is a workplace management app that does a lot of useful things. 

On the other hand, like any good tool, it depends who's using it. According to Ars Technica, when Myrna Arias went to work for a company called Intermex, she installed the Xora software in her phone as required. She had no problem having the app use her phone to track her locations during working hours, but there was a problem. In a lawsuit she filed:

She objected to the monitoring of her location during non-work hours and complained to Stubits that this was an invasion of her privacy. She likened the app to a prisoner’s ankle bracelet and informed [employer] Stubits that his actions were illegal. Stubits replied that she should tolerate the illegal intrusion.
Instead, she uninstalled the app and was fired, and is suing for "invasion of privacy, retaliation, unfair business practices, and other allegations, seeks damages in excess of $500,000 and asserts she was monitored on the weekends when she was not working," which actually was confirmed by her manager. 

It's an interesting and serious problem. You can see why an employer would want employees to be available outside normal working hours, especially in sales where customers can call at all hours. But tracking them at all hours? 

Andrea Peterson of the Washington Post spoke to Jay Stanley of the American Civil Liberties Union about the case. He noted that there are not many guidelines, but that it is a matter of real concern.

When you know everywhere someone’s been, you know a lot about their lives. ... What happens if an employer doesn’t like the choices a worker makes in their personal lives and retaliates professionally?
Many believe that "stalking apps" are invasive. Last year, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota tried to get legislation banning these apps, legislation that would “require that companies get individuals’ permission before collecting location data off of their smartphones, tablets, or in-car navigation devices, and before sharing it with others.” It didn’t pass, but say it did. If that is a condition of employment, is a prospective employee going to say no? 

The thing is, this is a really useful app if you're running a business. I hope that ClickSoftware (previously known as Xora, the company that made it), isn't tainted by all this bad press because one of their customers is a total jerk. Or maybe they should build a big tracking on-off switch and tell their customers in the EULA that privacy is a right. This is a serious issue that's not going away with this lawsuit.

Do we have any expectation of privacy anymore?

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Lloyd Alter ( @lloydalter ) writes about smart (and dumb) tech with a side of design and a dash of boomer angst.