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Cellphones Privacy Your Rights Online

New Phone Allows Bosses To Snoop On Staff 143

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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  • by Statecraftsman (718862) * on Thursday March 11, 2010 @12:25AM (#31434740) Homepage
    While this sounds like a great idea, it's going to be quietly retired after someone manages to match up the boss's "cleaning" activities with those of anyone else in the company.

    "Wow, look how perfectly these accelerations overlay!"
  • by OnePumpChump (1560417) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @12:25AM (#31434746)
    Oh boy, so my boss can tell if I'm leaning or cleaning. I anticipate a spike in workplace injuries and stress related ailments and a general decline in the quality of the work of all manual laborers on whom this technology is used, unless and until managers learn how NOT to use it. Good thing so many states have at-will employment and so few such workers have unions or health insurance, or this could cost a FORTUNE when it hits the US.
  • Re:It works (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @12:28AM (#31434762)

    Next will probably be an application that records audio from the cell phone microphone and tells what you're typing from the sound of the keys. Or even what you're seeing on the screen [].

  • Re:It broke again. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @12:42AM (#31434816) Journal

    And that is exactly what will happen. They are too easy to break, lose, steal, and then there is the forgot it at home, forgot to charge it, and myriad ways to defeat the system.

    A second thought: Do companies actually still pay for cell phones? Is that a perk I should be asking for?

  • Re:Dude... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @01:09AM (#31434938) Homepage

    Or you could just flush it. Think of all the turns and strange directions it will be reporting back. Just like the marketing dept...

  • Re:It broke again. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Barny (103770) <> on Thursday March 11, 2010 @01:10AM (#31434942) Homepage Journal

    If its part of your job, then usually they do.

    For instance on-call workers typically need a particular phone to support their companies dispatch software. A lot of them just use i-Phones because, well, "there's an app for that".

  • Re:Dude... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by oever (233119) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @02:36AM (#31435268) Homepage

    Apple might already be using the accelerometer and gps, and in the future thermometer and gas analyzer, to determine what services you are likely to buy and what happened to the device that might void warranty.

  • Re:Easy workaround (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sjames (1099) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @02:56AM (#31435368) Homepage Journal

    If they do turn on the mike, the toilet is exactly where you want to take the phone. Especially after eating the mexican food with extra refried beans.

    If you play it up right, you could traumatize them for life.

  • Re:Dogs can fly too (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dogugotw (635657) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:53AM (#31435846)

    A few years back, the Iditarod added GPS trackers to some of the top drivers sleds so their position and speed could be displayed to users who subscribed to the 'Iditarod Insider' service. One of the guys wasn't too happy about this and gave his tracker to one of the supply aircraft...Lookie... is now going 150 mph, in the wrong direction, at 3000' agl...awesome dog team!

    Actually, the experiment went over really well with those who follow the race so this year everyone got a tracker. It's pretty cool to be able to see how everyone is doing in real time. The mushers don't have access to the data so they're still going cross country using old school technology (eyes and brain).

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:53AM (#31436044)

    OK, I guess we're all against the potentially creepy applications of this.
    But could there be useful ones? Most people carry cell phones, could this be used to monitor people with known history of health problems, such as heart disease, or the elderly?
    If my cell phone detected that I'd just had a stroke, or that one of my parents had just had a fall, and was unconscious at the bottom of a staircase, and informed the emergency services, then that would be the kind of intrusion that I could accept.

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.