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niceguymr
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Posted: 5/10/2009 7:59:31 PM
[Last Edit: 5/10/2009 8:28:58 PM by niceguymr]
ETA: I'm not talking about GPS devices in cars. I'm talking tracking people's physical whereabouts using ONLY their company provided cellphones.

I have a friend who works for company as an outside sales associate. Her company is now providing all the salespeople with Verizon phones (some Blackberrys, others just regular phones). How prevelant is it that companies are tracking empolyees physical whereabouts with cell phones? I know that they do it with company vehicles, but she was wondering if her company was going to be snooping on her on and off company time.
Palm
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:02:14 PM
They can track you, but you can turn off the feature on most phones. Blackberries are a little different as they can be set to a corporate security policy that can prevent you from changing the settings.
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Palm
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:02:17 PM
[Last Edit: 5/10/2009 8:04:22 PM by Palm]
Oops, I guess I double tapped!
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myitinaw
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:04:53 PM
Indeed they can & do.
A socialist may indeed be academically superior, And yet, most certainly emotionally retarded…
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tony55690
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:07:11 PM
Thats why you leave the business phone at the house when you go to the strip club.
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cosmos556
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:08:09 PM
I audit my employees monthly Takes a lotta work, but it stops fraud when they know I check.
niceguymr
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:11:03 PM
Originally Posted By cosmos556:
I audit my employees monthly Takes a lotta work, but it stops fraud when they know I check.


When you say 'audit', what exactly do you mean? What are your capabilities?

dilligaff
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:12:58 PM
I use XORA, (only while our drivers are on the clock).
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niceguymr
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:19:02 PM
Originally Posted By dilligaff:
I use XORA, (only while our drivers are on the clock).


Does that track physical locations through people's cell phones?

cosmos556
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:22:34 PM
I have the bill with all their incoming calls/text messages/downloads. Don't care about data/email as it's unlimited, but when they're talking 45 minutes to some unknown number during day hours or hundreds of messages... yeah, fraud waste & abuse. Wish people would just do right thing.

We have the printouts from the provider to look over. Just like your regular detailed bill.

And since we have desk phones, all calls over 5 minutes are audited. That rules out about 98% of calls, but once again, I look for patterns of abuse.
_Matt_
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:22:50 PM
Originally Posted By cosmos556:
I audit my employees monthly Takes a lotta work, but it stops fraud when they know I check.



Notice that he says when they know

As far as I know, if the company tracks you without your knowledge it is illegal in most/all states, and therefore if they terminate you for that you can sue

I have been tracked by 2 way gps/satellite communication on my truck (old job) with no problems

A2cat-man
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:26:11 PM
Absolutely. The phone company I used to work for started putting the GPS units on the trucks.
niceguymr
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:27:32 PM
Originally Posted By cosmos556:
I have the bill with all their incoming calls/text messages/downloads. Don't care about data/email as it's unlimited, but when they're talking 45 minutes to some unknown number during day hours or hundreds of messages... yeah, fraud waste & abuse. Wish people would just do right thing.

We have the printouts from the provider to look over. Just like your regular detailed bill.

And since we have desk phones, all calls over 5 minutes are audited. That rules out about 98% of calls, but once again, I look for patterns of abuse.


Ok, But I'm talking about tracking the physical whereabout of the phone (ie employee) using nothing but the company provided phone and software.

niceguymr
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:30:01 PM
Originally Posted By A2cat-man:
Absolutely. The phone company I used to work for started putting the GPS units on the trucks.


Again, I'm not talking about GPS devices in cars. I'm talking strictly using company provided cellphones.

cosmos556
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:31:36 PM
We've looked into it for when people are mysteriously unreachable.
niceguymr
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:32:31 PM
Originally Posted By _Matt_:

As far as I know, if the company tracks you without your knowledge it is illegal in most/all states, and therefore if they terminate you for that you can sue



I'm not too sure about this if we're talking about a company owned (and provided) cell phone. I would think that a company can legally track any of it's assets without gaining permission. The fact that the phone happens to be in your posession is irrelevant, no?

niceguymr
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:35:32 PM
Originally Posted By cosmos556:
We've looked into it for when people are mysteriously unreachable.


I'm not sure I'm understanding you. Have you or haven't you tracked the physical whereabouts of a company owned cellphone?

chicobrownbear
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Posted: 5/10/2009 8:57:45 PM
Muni I used to work with tracked individuals with their issued cellular phones. Yes. Can and do.
_Matt_
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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:05:01 PM
Originally Posted By niceguymr:
Originally Posted By _Matt_:

As far as I know, if the company tracks you without your knowledge it is illegal in most/all states, and therefore if they terminate you for that you can sue



I'm not too sure about this if we're talking about a company owned (and provided) cell phone. I would think that a company can legally track any of it's assets without gaining permission. The fact that the phone happens to be in your posession is irrelevant, no?



while you do bring up a valid point, and may well be correct, I expect there would be a huge legality issue with breaking someones privacy like that.

that being said, I have a company phone, which I am allowed to have unlimited personal data and voice use, and still pay for a personal cell phone. I do not need my company have call records of my personal calls.

bigshooter81
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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:07:52 PM
[Last Edit: 5/10/2009 9:08:39 PM by bigshooter81]
my work phone is a blackberry(which I fucking hate), and I am tracked every second that fucking thing is on. It sends a ping back every three minutes.

I can log out but it is set to automatically log back in after a few minutes, the phone must be off to not track.
SeaClass
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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:11:36 PM
My friend worked for a company that did just that. Verizon would put businesses that wanted to track employees in touch with my friends company. It could be done with or without the employees knowledge. One of the things most checked up on is making sure truck drivers stay on route. Not only could they tell where and when you went, they also knew your average speed as well as your top speed.
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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:31:09 PM

Originally Posted By _Matt_:
As far as I know, if the company tracks you without your knowledge it is illegal in most/all states, and therefore if they terminate you for that you can sue
You know wrong. If it is a company provided cell phone, your company can use it to track your location during working hours with no repercussions. Most companies also cover themselves by addressing use of company resources and your complete lack of privacy in using those resources in the employee manual.

When on the clock, do the job. Don't like being watched? Get another job.

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callgood
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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:36:34 PM
Would a metal box in the car block the signal? OK, it'd block the incoming signal, but I'm wondering if steel or lead would defeat the tracking.

Or maybe hook the phone to an external antenna, but wrap the body of the phone in lead foil.
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N1Rampage
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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:37:46 PM
Originally Posted By callgood:
Would a metal box in the car block the signal? OK, it'd block the incoming signal, but I'm wondering if steel or lead would defeat the tracking.

Or maybe hook the phone to an external antenna, but wrap the body of the phone in lead foil.


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Xyster7212
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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:41:15 PM
Originally Posted By niceguymr:
ETA: I'm not talking about GPS devices in cars. I'm talking tracking people's physical whereabouts using ONLY their company provided cellphones.

I have a friend who works for company as an outside sales associate. Her company is now providing all the salespeople with Verizon phones (some Blackberrys, others just regular phones). How prevelant is it that companies are tracking empolyees physical whereabouts with cell phones? I know that they do it with company vehicles, but she was wondering if her company was going to be snooping on her on and off company time.


Yes, my dept looked into it. We often have techs working alone at fairly remote locations, and my dept head looked into it as a "safety feature". I didn't really mind, as long as I knew - I'm on their time during business hours anyways, so they have a right to know where I am.

Corporate management absolutely refused to allow any tracking of employees via cell phones. They said it had too much potential for after-hours abuse.
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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:52:51 PM
My old company had 1 person offices around the city (Columbus).
The employee's phones were used to clock in and out on.
They were set to alert whenever employee went a certain distance from office.
And tracked speed, etc...
This was Nextel and was about 5 years ago.
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niceguymr
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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:54:24 PM
Originally Posted By SeaClass:
My friend worked for a company that did just that. Verizon would put businesses that wanted to track employees in touch with my friends company. It could be done with or without the employees knowledge. One of the things most checked up on is making sure truck drivers stay on route. Not only could they tell where and when you went, they also knew your average speed as well as your top speed.


What's the name of your friend's company?

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Posted: 5/10/2009 10:49:51 PM
yes and yes
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SeaClass
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Posted: 5/10/2009 10:58:00 PM
Originally Posted By niceguymr:
Originally Posted By SeaClass:
My friend worked for a company that did just that. Verizon would put businesses that wanted to track employees in touch with my friends company. It could be done with or without the employees knowledge. One of the things most checked up on is making sure truck drivers stay on route. Not only could they tell where and when you went, they also knew your average speed as well as your top speed.


What's the name of your friend's company?




I don't remember off the top of my head. I dropped him an e-mail asking him what it was. Since he doesn't work for them anymore I doubt he'll mind me posting their name. I'll let you know when I hear back from him.

I remember him telling me a guy that had it installed on his daughter's phone. He would sit at home on his computer and make sure she was exactly where she said she would be.
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Posted: 5/10/2009 11:03:49 PM
Originally Posted By N1Rampage:
Originally Posted By callgood:
Would a metal box in the car block the signal? OK, it'd block the incoming signal, but I'm wondering if steel or lead would defeat the tracking.

Or maybe hook the phone to an external antenna, but wrap the body of the phone in lead foil.


Brass cage (Faraday cage).


Faraday cages are NOT made of brass

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Posted: 5/10/2009 11:04:46 PM
Turn off the company cellphone off hours or leave it in the car. Outside sale, if she is making her numbers, then she has no worries. Folks that make their numbers get slack cut for them all the time. Its folks that don't make their numbers, they have to worry
Originally Posted By niceguymr:
I have a friend who works for company as an outside sales associate. Her company is now providing all the salespeople with Verizon phones (some Blackberrys, others just regular phones). How prevelant is it that companies are tracking empolyees physical whereabouts with cell phones? I know that they do it with company vehicles, but she was wondering if her company was going to be snooping on her on and off company time.


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Posted: 5/10/2009 11:05:40 PM
Originally Posted By callgood:
Would a metal box in the car block the signal? OK, it'd block the incoming signal, but I'm wondering if steel or lead would defeat the tracking.

Or maybe hook the phone to an external antenna, but wrap the body of the phone in lead foil.


Just turn the phone off. If you bury the phone in enough metal to block the GPS signal - chances are that you'll block the cell tower polling as well. Any employer that is tracking using GPS will also see that the phone went off the network. I would expect that an employee who is being tracked would be called in to explain that.
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Posted: 5/10/2009 11:07:31 PM
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Posted: 5/10/2009 11:42:39 PM
If it is such a concern, why not just remove the battery?
niceguymr
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Posted: 5/11/2009 12:14:09 AM
[Last Edit: 5/11/2009 12:14:35 AM by niceguymr]
Yes, the obvious solutions for her would be either to turn off the phone or take it a step further and unplug the battery. Secondarily, there may be a certain way to disable transmitting certain types of signals (such as pings) that may be used to reveal locations, but these controls may also have restricted access to the system admin as in Blackberry models.

Her main concern it whether or not they can watch her whereabouts throughout the day. She's a top producer, but you never know when someone might have an axe to grind, they always manage to look for weaknesses in the most unexpecting places. For example, they'll look at less tangible / more subjective areas of your perfomance rather than actual sales numbers.
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Posted: 5/11/2009 7:29:11 PM
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Posted: 5/11/2009 7:45:10 PM
Originally Posted By niceguymr:
ETA: I'm not talking about GPS devices in cars. I'm talking tracking people's physical whereabouts using ONLY their company provided cellphones.

I have a friend who works for company as an outside sales associate. Her company is now providing all the salespeople with Verizon phones (some Blackberrys, others just regular phones). How prevelant is it that companies are tracking empolyees physical whereabouts with cell phones? I know that they do it with company vehicles, but she was wondering if her company was going to be snooping on her on and off company time.


Yes. I've seen it done by certain defense contractors.
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Posted: 5/11/2009 7:47:06 PM
Originally Posted By Palm:
They can track you, but you can turn off the feature on most phones. Blackberries are a little different as they can be set to a corporate security policy that can prevent you from changing the settings.


Negative. Even with the phone turned off it still tracks. Only way it's not tracking is with the battery out. Saw some contractor geek types think they were defeating the feature get burned when up to no good.
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Posted: 5/11/2009 9:46:34 PM
Originally Posted By niceguymr:
Originally Posted By SeaClass:
My friend worked for a company that did just that. Verizon would put businesses that wanted to track employees in touch with my friends company. It could be done with or without the employees knowledge. One of the things most checked up on is making sure truck drivers stay on route. Not only could they tell where and when you went, they also knew your average speed as well as your top speed.


What's the name of your friend's company?



He got back to me. This is the company he used to work for.

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