A woman in California is suing her former employer after being fired for uninstalling a GPS monitoring app.
A slightly unnerving law-suit emanating from the land of the free has alleged that a woman was fired from her job for uninstalling a compulsory smartphone app which allowed her bosses to track her movements even when she wasn’t working.
Court papers, which were picked up by Ars Technica, allege that Myrna Arias was sacked by Intermex Wire Transfer because she uninstalled Xora; a workplace management app which management staff insisted all employees install on their smartphones.
The app allows supervisors to see where mobile employees are throughout their workday, but the kicker in this situation is that it continues keeping tabs on people, even when they’re off the clock.
After installing the app, Arias said that she did some research on its capabilities and then spoke to her boss regarding her concerns, asking him whether it was really able to track her when she wasn’t working. Far from denying the issue, the man, John Stubits, allegedly freely admitted it and and stated that the app was so efficient it could actually tell him the speed she was doing in her car.
Stubits then reportedly told Arias that, as she was earning more money at Intermex than at her previous post, she should learn to live with the app.
However, Arias, who likened the app to being forced to wear a prisoner’s ankle tag, chose instead to uninstall it and, according to her testimony, she was fired a short time later.
After being given the bullet from her job, Ms. Arias took a part time post at her former place of work where, to add insult to injury, she alleges that her former employer telephoned and made a number of allegations leading to her getting the sack from there too.
Arias’ lawsuit is seeking damages “in excess of $500,000” to cover loss of earnings.
A standout case likes this pulls up all sorts of questions regarding invasion of privacy, security and the role of smartphones in the work place. Is Arias in the right, despite her job requiring her to keep the app installed? It’s a interesting conundrum and until a court has heard both sides of the story, we’re intruged to see what the outcome will be.