Firms under scrutiny over GPS spying

The Swedish Data Inspection Board (Datainspektionen) has announced the launch of a project to review how companies and municipalities use GPS positioning technology to track their staff.

Firms under scrutiny over GPS spying

The board has launched the project in response to complaints and questions over how the technology is used, the type of information saved and whether personal integrity is maintained.

“During 2007, 2008 and 2009 we have received many questions and complaints with regard to positioning technology and how it is used by employers to monitor their employees,” said Oskar Öhrström, who is leading the project, in a board statement.

Among the firms under scrutiny include security companies, installation engineers, newspaper delivery couriers, refuse collectors, and snow clearance workers.

Thirty firms will be selected for inspection, with a further 12 getting a more thorough check.

The board observed that there is a tendency towards an extension in the use of positioning technologies to control and monitor staff, with many ignorant of the existing regulations and laws covering personal privacy.

The project’s aim is to develop an updated check list with concrete examples of when GPS may, and may not, be used.

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