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Cellphones Privacy Your Rights Online

New Phone Allows Bosses To Snoop On Staff 143

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-need-to-talk-about-your-tps-reports dept.
tad001 writes "The Japanese phone giant KDDI has developed a way to track users' movements in fine detail. It works by analyzing the movement of accelerometers, found in many handsets. Activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or even cleaning can be identified, the researchers say. The company plans to sell the service to clients such as managers, foremen, and employment agencies."
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New Phone Allows Bosses To Snoop On Staff

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  • link to article (Score:5, Informative)

    by gront (594175) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @12:25AM (#31434742)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8559683.stm [bbc.co.uk] is a link to the article, rather than just the BBC
  • Jailbreak it, sire. (Score:2, Informative)

    by William Sullivan (1757974) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @02:58AM (#31435386) Homepage
    There's an app for that. I mean, seriously. It's called demagnetizing the accelerometer. This basically allows it to either remain at zero, or points within 0 indicating little to no movement. Sort of like your typical EA programmer.
  • Re:It works (Score:2, Informative)

    by BrokenHalo (565198) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:19AM (#31435716)
    My code has been compiling for the last two hours.

    Back in the day when I first got into programming, it was not uncommon for compiles to run for 10 hours or more. I sometimes used to take a sleeping-bag into the machine-room with me. If the compile bailed, I would be woken up by the clatter of the core dump being output to a 1600 line/min barrel printer.
  • Re:response (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 11, 2010 @08:10AM (#31436570)

    No, that's all right, we'll just deduct the replacement cost from your pay. That will help teach you to be more responsible with company property.

    No, it'll teach the company about Wage & Labor laws, the hard way.

    It's illegal to require, ask, or even accept repayment from an employee for loss, damages, or theft of company products, resources, etc. You can write them up, fire them, file charges for theft, negligence, or intentional destruction, and try to get the money back that way, but you can't just dip into their checks.
    For example if you handle cash & it comes up short, they can NOT ask you to repay it or accept payment to avoid a write-up or termination. They can file charges if they can prove it was intentional, and in some cases also if they can show it was grossly negligent, but they can't take that money from your check without a court order.

  • Re:It works (Score:2, Informative)

    by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Thursday March 11, 2010 @09:57AM (#31437378)

    Back in the day when I first got into programming, it was not uncommon for compiles to run for 10 hours or more.

    Back in the day? It takes the hardware engineers round here 22 hours to compile their device. If you find a bug in the hardware, come back tomorrow. If the compiler doesn't crash running on a machine with a mere 12Gb of memory,

  • Re:It broke again. (Score:2, Informative)

    by the_xaqster (877576) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @10:24AM (#31437862) Homepage Journal
    Wouldn't work for me. First time it breaks or is damaged, I get charged 50% of the "Unsubsidised" cost of the phone when issued (£250), then the subsequent times I get charged 100% (£500). The phones are replaced about every 3 -4 years, so in theory I could be charged from £250 to £500 for having a 4 year old phone break on me. This comes straight from my wages as a deduction on my payslip.
  • Re:Livestock (Score:3, Informative)

    by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Thursday March 11, 2010 @12:25PM (#31440260) Homepage Journal

    I'd wonder if they're still in business. People who are good at what they're doing tend to find jobs anywhere. People who're bad at what they're doing have to swallow whatever their boss subjects them to.

    True, in general. But there's an interesting cautionary tale (by the guy who founded HowStuffWorks.com, oddly enough) that posits a corollary -- what if you were bad at doing something once, but an all-knowing never-forgetting system prevents you from *ever* putting it behind you?

    As these communication networks between all the different Manna systems built up, things started to get uncomfortable for every worker. For example, the Manna software in each store knew about employee performance in microscopic detail -- how often the employee was on time or early, how quickly the employee did tasks, how quickly the employee answered the phone and responded to email, how the customers rated the employee and so on. When an employee left a store and tried to get a new job somewhere else, any other Manna system could request the employee's performance record. If an employee had "issues" -- late, slow, disorganized, unkempt -- it became nearly impossible for that employee to get another job. Nearly every company with minimum wage employees used Manna software or something similar, and performance records on employees were a major commodity freely exchanged between corporations. A marginal employee got blacklisted in the system very quickly.

    - from Manna [marshallbrain.com], by Marshall Brain

    Brain's dystopian vision (like most others) is full of glaring flaws -- he completely discounts the ability of people to drop "below the radar" -- but it's an interesting reference whenever another story comes out about how automation is making us "more productive".

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