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OK to use GPS to track workers: B.C. privacy watchdog

An adjudicator with B.C.’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner says it’s reasonable for the companies to use GPS technology to manage staff, confirm billing and ensure workers are where they say they are.

Blackline GPS

British Columbia's privacy watchdog says two elevator companies that use GPS technology to keep track of mechanics aren't breaking the law.

One of the companies has been ordered to temporarily stop using the technology until it provides its workers with better notice.

Unionized workers at ThyssenKrupp Elevator Ltd. and Kone Inc. filed complaints over the companies' use of GPS tracking – ThyssenKrupp through devices attached to vehicles and Kone through GPS-enabled cellphones.

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The workers, who are all members of the International Union of Elevator Constructors, said the technology was an illegal intrusion into their personal privacy.

But an adjudicator with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner says it's reasonable for the companies to use such technology to manage staff, confirm billing and ensure workers are where they say they are.

However, the adjudicator also says ThyssenKrupp failed to provide adequate notice to its workers about the GPS tracking and has ordered it to stop using the technology until it properly informs its staff.

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