In GPS and Cell Phone Tracking of Employees, Professor Marc McAllister makes a case for limiting the use of cell phone tracking of employees to either noninvestigatory, work-related purposes or misconduct investigations wherein the use of tracking is used only as a means to corroborate evidence that the tracked employee has committed a terminable offense. As Professor McAllister notes, disgruntled employees subject to tracking by employers may seek to sue for invasion of privacy. Professor McAllister offers guidance to employers for four different employee tracking scenarios to defend against such suits. By focusing attention on the legal issues around tracking, Professor McAllister has added to the body of Big Data legal scholarship, illuminating one zone of the greater sphere. His focus on legal issues from the employer’s perspective invites comment and analysis from the view of the employee and reflection on individual data privacy more generally.
Professor McAllister’s paper may be classified among the growing body of Big Data legal research. Technology has changed the legal environment, and despite some early efforts to regulate free speech issues online, legal issues related to free speech and privacy are abound. Many of these issues can be traced to, and some are directly driven by, Big Data. Professor McAllister’s analysis can be extended by taking the information from the employer-focused analysis and examining the same issues from the employee perspective. This allows us to compare such employer-driven searches with other searches impacting the rights of individual employees. Read More.