Michelle Dionne — a single mother was hired by an elementary school in Darwell, Alta to sanitize their facilities. However, after they hired her, she said that they told her to download a location tracking app to her personal phone. The employer didn’t provide much information on the app’s purpose. Although, apps of that nature are sometimes required by employers on the basis of tracking whether an employee is on site.
Dionne — who was thrilled to be hired declined to install the app out of concern for her privacy, and due to the lack of transparency about how the data is being handled and used. She was subsequently fired, and her termination notice mentioned her refusal to install it. Aside from the fact that an employer should state beforehand if trackers are required, it’s wrong to force privacy-invading apps on people.
Companies are starting to treat people more and more like animals, and it’s only going to get worse if privacy laws don’t improve. A key detail here is that the tracker was to be installed on her personal phone (not a work phone), which would enable the employer to track her even outside of working hours. A personal phone also contains a great deal of personal data — something that the app may or may not try to access.
Despite the fact that the job market should technically be a level playing field in which applicants can decline or accept job offers based on the employers’ terms, companies seem to have a great deal of leverage considering that many applicants are desperately seeking job offers during hard financial times. Tracking people against their will is not ok.