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GPS Tracking of State Worker Raises Privacy Issues 173

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from a Times Union article: "How far can state government go in keeping tabs on its employees? That's the question a mid-level appeals court will consider in the wake of a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union against the state Labor Department, in the case of a fired state worker who was tracked with a GPS device that investigators secretly attached to his personal car. ... State officials tracked Cunningham's whereabouts by secretly attaching a GPS device to his BMW. The electronic tailing went beyond what would normally be termed Cunningham's work hours, since the device was on for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They even tracked him on a multi-day family vacation."
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GPS Tracking of State Worker Raises Privacy Issues

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  • New York (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday September 16, 2011 @04:11PM (#37424424) Journal

    New York's court of appeals [acslaw.org] has already determined that GPS tracking by law enforcement is illegal without a warrant. Since the powers of cops are a superset of the powers of an individual, this case should be a slam dunk for the plaintiff.

  • by tragedy (27079) on Friday September 16, 2011 @05:45PM (#37425142)

    Well, actually, I can think of plenty of ways you could be "set up" to "have an affair" as long as "have an affair" remains in quotes. Quite simply, a supervisor at work could require you to work late on various nights but arrange it in such a way that you have no proof that you really worked late. Then they could bring out someone they've hired to claim to have had an affair with you and tell your spouse that you were lying about working late. Maybe they could give you a company credit card as well, then throw some hotel charges onto it.

    People with lots of power over you, like employers, have plenty of power to frame you all sorts of things. For example, if they wanted to fire you for whistleblowing, they could set up an environment where employees are made comfortable by supervisors leaving 5 minutes early every day, but marking their full hours on their timesheet. Then they could gather "evidence" against you, such as by tracking your car with a gps tracking device, and then fire you, or maybe even prosecute you, for fraudulently filling out your timecard. Who would believe you? It's a time-honoured tradition for getting rid of unwanted employees: give them implicit, or even explicit (but undocumented) permission to do something that's technically against policy, then bust them for violating the policy.

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