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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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  • It broke again. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zaphod-AVA ( 471116 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @01:38AM (#31434798)

    The accelerometer clearly shows me working when this one fell too. I suppose you will have to assign me another one. Well, I'm a team player sir, you can just get me a cheap phone for work use since I seem to be so hard on them.

  • Dude... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @01:55AM (#31434878) Journal
    I am SO swinging that phone from the rooftop... Let them figure that one out! Or tossing it across the road to a friend on the other side. Yes boss, as a matter of fact I can fly!
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @02:24AM (#31434992) Journal

    Track that you nosey idiots. Unless they're going to stipulate that all employees must WEAR their phones.

  • by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @02:49AM (#31435084) Journal

    If my boss wants to buy this phone, great. They've just given me a big neon flashing sign warning me that they're a control freak. I can now either move to a different department or start looking for a new job.

    I'd rather have obvious signs I can't miss that my boss likes to create a hostile work environment, rather than subtle signs I might miss at first. The more blatant they are, the better.

  • Livestock (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:05AM (#31435136)
    Hell if you're going to treat us like livestock, just go all out! How about microchips and ear tags! Maybe the company logo branded on your body.

    If I had a boss that tried to make his workers use something like this, I'd quit my job.
  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:46AM (#31435320) Homepage

    At the moment you can buy a horrifically expensive option board for some radios that does exactly this. That way you can tell if the HT that is supposed to be clipped to your security guard's belt as he walks around your bonded warehouse has suddenly gone horizontal. Another application is in shopping centres where it's pretty handy to be able to track where cleaners and security guards are - and have been in the past. Why? Nosiness? Spying? No.


    You: "Well, let's see, the cleaner went past there three minutes ago, so it can't have been like that for long."

    MBCS: "But... But... Butt..."

    or alternatively:
    You: "Right, who's doing the guard tour, oh it's Wee Wullie. That's funny, he's been standing at the same bit for a couple of minutes now, moving around quite a lot though. Wonder if everything's okay?"

    <clicky on CCTV console>

    You: "Aha, righty. Let's send Big Davie down to give him some 'assistance' there..."

  • response (Score:4, Insightful)

    by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) * on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:59AM (#31435396)

    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.

  • by amRadioHed ( 463061 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:08AM (#31435448)

    If a company wants to track your every movement throughout the day, how hard is it to imagine they would also require you to wear the tracking device?

  • Marketing fail (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:11AM (#31435466)

    Seriously, who's the marketing genius and why isn't he fired yet?

    Can't you forsee what's going to happen? Unions will be all over it, key employees will complain and go ballistic over it, threatening to quit if they're not let off the leash.

    Solution: Market it to overprotective parents. Kids have neither unions nor can they quit their parents.

  • Re:Livestock (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:14AM (#31435482)

    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.

    Guess which group keeps a company afloat and which one sinks it.

  • by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:14AM (#31435484)
    Demagnetizing the accelerometer..... I'm not entirely sure you understand how these things work. Seriously, there's no magnets involved here.
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:28AM (#31435524) Journal

    Being a boss is easy, there are only two kind of employees. Lazy ones, who will slack of any chance they get and perform at best at a level just above firing, and good employees who take pride in their job.

    It will cost a fortune to turn a lazy one into a good one. It will save you money to turn a good one into a lazy one, in the short term. It is easy, just keep cutting benefits, breaks, perks and up the work load while micro-managing them to hell.

    But most managers/bosses feel they need to earn their keep by showing they are making the people work the hardest. If you spend the money of those kind of managers and their bag of tricks on salary, you would be able to hire the absolute best and have people fighting to stay with your company. Go ahead, offer a cleaner 50% above average wage. No problems filling vacancies, no need to watch their every move and you get motivated employees who got a reason not to exchange you the moment they a chance. Because even cleaning staff builds up a lot of knowledge you can't easily replace with the Xth temp because your turn-over rate is 100%.

    By all means, you go tech to try to manage those who can only earn the lowest wages, I pay a bit more and get the cream. In the end, I know who is more efficient.

  • Re:It works (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:14AM (#31435698)
    Next will probably be an application that records audio from the cell phone microphone...

    I guess that would be doable pretty easily with current technology. It's called a bug. Supposedly not legal without a warrant and all that.

    I have been offered company phones at several jobs, and I always turn them down. I would rather pay for my own phone, and retain control over when (or if) I answer it. I have friends who have been carpeted by the boss for not answering their phones when they were in the loo. I would rather be able to tell them to get fucked if I were put in that position.

    Well, maybe I wouldn't be so unprofessional as to tell them to get fucked. They could go get professionally fucked...
  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:50AM (#31435830)

    And learn where all the inside camera's are as well. However sometimes you might not know.

  • by danielsfca2 ( 696792 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:56AM (#31435862) Journal

    With a name like "clarkkent09" i'm surprised you didn't at least pick a DC superhero to use for that joke, but it was hilarious nonetheless. Too bad I don't have mod points.

  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @06:39AM (#31435994)

    As a Brit working for an American company, all I can say is that all my boss cares about is that he has a pretty graph at the end of each week, month & quarter that shows me and his other guys are utilised as highly as possible and making money for the company.

    He's a decent American bloke but constantly stressed out by the managers above him and I wouldn't do his job for all the tea in China (or coffee in Starbucks). Plus he doesn't have either the time or inclination to check up on me any more than he does currently (once a week at most).

    If you do work for a company that has managers needing to do this level of granular "surveillance" of staff then it's time to get another job - because if they're going to those depths then they're probably going to get rid of you anyway....

  • Re:It works (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @09:16AM (#31436594)

    why involve a union, can't fight your own battles?

    When fighting against someone far more powerful than you, bring your friends. It's just plain common sense.

  • by EMR ( 13768 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @09:34AM (#31436722)

    Then why did you hire them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 11, 2010 @12:10PM (#31438930)

    And learn how to pluralize in the English language.

The opulence of the front office door varies inversely with the fundamental solvency of the firm.