Vehicle GPS Tracker: When Does It Become Illegal?

 vehicle GPS tracker

There are instances where an employer needs to resort to the use of a vehicle GPS tracker to know the places visited by the employee. This is to ensure that the employees are using company-owned vehicles for work-related activities and not personal ones, illegal drug use, misusing paid sick leave, handing out company guarded secrets to the competition, and an employee is believed to be misappropriating company hours for personal gains with their own car.

A business or employer can legally install a vehicle GPS tracker into its own vehicle unit. There is no question about that. However, when it comes to the employee’s personal vehicle, there is a big chance that the answer here is a no. Let this short article be a guide to this interesting topic.

An actual case has actually been tried in New York, Cunningham versus New York State Department of Labor in 2013. The Big Apple’s Appellate Division handled a similar case wherein the employer was forced to install a vehicle tracking device into the employee’s personal car in order to obtain solid evidence.

The Dept. of Labor had suspected Michael Cunningham, a long-time veteran of the state (he was in a managerial position at the time) of submitting incorrect time reports, unauthorized absences and declaring prolonged business trips. The nature of work for Cunningham was spent most of the time in the field or in remote areas.

Soon, the State Department first hired one investigator to observe what Cunningham had been doing. They were assigned to follow the employee’s car and confirm their suspicions. For several instances, Cunningham was able to shake off the hired investigator. This led to the employer used a GPS tracking device without Cunningham’s permission.

So after one month and three GPS tracking device after, the employer was able to prove its suspicion with their employee. Disciplinary action was given to Cunningham which eventually led to termination.

The issue here of great debacle is the employee’s right to privacy. Cunningham’s activities off-work hours has also been possibly monitored. This is one of the reasons why there are GPS units out there, that has an option to disable its monitoring function during non-working hours and weekends. This is to avoid a scenario similar to Cunningham.

For those employers who are in a similar situation like Cunningham, wherein the employee is somehow abusing company policies with regards to working out in the field, get a GPS with a scheduling feature. The employer should program it that it will not be monitoring an employee after work, weekends and during holidays.

The HR department should also have a say in this particular subject matter. A policy should be enforced in the company that refrains a GPS tracking device to be disabled during non-work related hours and days.

The HR department, finally, should also be able to document everything about this special scenario if the need arises. A clear explanation why an employee needs to be subjected into these, plus a detailed explanation why a less intrusive option is not effective.

Touch Screen Technology – When Is It Worth The Extra Cost?

touch screen technology

It seems only a few years ago when smart phones were items only the rich could afford. But now there are smart devices everywhere you look. Moreover these new smart devices now feature touch screen technology. Even now people wonder at the increased convenience afforded by touch screen technology. The simplicity of using mere touches and gestures for the input of data and instructions still inspires awe.

But their use in smart devices and even industrial machinery controls is just a start. Now laptops and desktops are being fitted with touch screens. Some people are only too willing to pay the significant increase in price of an upgrade to a touch screen computer just to keep up with the latest technology. But do you really benefit much from an upgrade to a touch screen laptop?

The Real Cost Of Upgrading To A Touch Screen

There is of course about a 20% price difference between a laptop or desktop fitted with normal viewing screens and those fitted with touch screens. But the additional cost in monetary terms is not all you pay for that new technology.

If you notice, old phones last longer than smart phones with their much bigger batteries. This is because touch screens use up to 25% more energy than regular screens, thus with an upgrade to a touch screen comes shorter battery life. This is true whether the device is in use or on standby. So if you are looking to use your laptop for extended periods, you can keep them plugged (which hamper their mobility), bring extra batteries, or stick to those with normal view-only screens. Battery life is one of the most important considerations for professionals who use their laptops extensively.

What Do You Gain From Using A Touch Screen Laptop?

The most obvious gain is convenience. You can now do away with the mouse; the keyboard can stay if you are more comfortable using it for data entry. Instead of having to use the conventional mouse you can simply use touches and special gestures. Some software even lets you customize the gestures that your device recognizes. In front of clients, the latest touch screen enabled laptop is just much more impressive. This can help you sell, upsell or serve your client’s needs better. Some people now cannot do without touch screens as suggested by a Biztechmagazine.com.

Unfortunately, there are not many available software applications which are designed specifically for use on touch screens. Sure there are lots of software which have been upgraded to be able to take advantage of its features, but hardly any have been built originally for use on touch screens. However, even with this handicap, children easily process information using touch screens, if the way they use their iPads is an indication.

So when it is worth the extra cost and shortened battery life to upgrade to a touch screen computer? Basically when the benefits you derive from its use outweigh the price you have to pay. When you have extra cash, and when you consider the added convenience more important than a long battery life.

Cloud Contact Center Software: The Better Alternative

cloud contact center softwareThere is much talk about cloud contact center software among companies who provide call center services. The discussions center around the many benefits it offers, as well as a few concerns. Usually more benefits of using cloud contact center software are enumerated and the concerns are centered mainly on security and privacy issues.

When a contact center decides to use a call center software, it has two choices; it can use stand-alone software or subscribe to a call center software delivered via the cloud through an arrangement known as Software as a Service (SaaS).

Using Stand Alone Software

If the contact center uses stand alone call center software, they will have to purchase the software from a vendor. While there are free downloads of call center software, these are normally just trial versions which expire after a month or so, or limited to a maximum of around a dozen call center agents; very few call centers will fit in that category. With stand alone software the company needs to purchase and maintain the servers required for hosting the system. Maintenance and upkeep would mean hiring IT professionals for the job. This makes the cost of implementation very high. Worst of all, if later on you find the software does not fully meet your requirements you will have to purchase a new one. Perhaps the only advantage offered by stand-alone call center software is better hands-on security, as the company has full control of the system at its own location.

The Benefits Of Cloud Based Call Center Software Solutions

With cloud based call center software, there is no need to purchase the software; companies only need to rent the use of the software. Hosting is also provided, so the contact center does not need to purchase and maintain its own servers. Thus there is also no need to hire in-house IT professionals for the job. The software is updated and maintained by the cloud provider without any extra charge; any required hardware upgrades are similarly undertaken by the cloud provider. The significantly lower initial cost of implementation makes cloud based call center solutions very affordable.

Since cloud solutions do not require purchase of software, it is easy to add functions and features as and when required. Thus the contact center is able to easily adapt to changing requirements. An example of this would be if an inbound contact center suddenly finds itself contracted to make outbound calls. Billing is based on what you use per month, as all SaaS arrangements are on a pay as you go scheme. Smaller contact centers benefit by having the option to start with basic features and adding more as their requirements grow.

Cloud based solutions allow access from anywhere there is internet service. This gives the contact center the option of operating from one place or as a virtual call center. Perhaps the best benefit a contact center gets from cloud based solutions is that they are freed of IT worries so they can concentrate on their core activities.

With all these benefits, most companies opt for cloud based call center software solutions. If you need to find a reputable cloud service provider, organizations such as the International Association of Cloud and Managed Service Providers can help.

Security Systems For Business – An Investment In Peace Of Mind

security systems for business

 

People have different ideas about what constitutes sufficient security systems for business; that is fine as different businesses require varying degrees of protection. What cannot be denied is that all of them require security systems for business in some form.

Business establishments should really consult with security experts who can advise on the appropriate level of protection. Without professional assistance business owners may spend more for security than they need to, or not spend enough to obtain sufficient protection. There is no one security solution that fits all requirements, but it is important for an owner’s peace of mind to deploy sufficient security measures.

How Security Systems Protect The Business.

Business owners need to identify all the threats to their particular type of business. Then they have to draft and execute security measures to protect against perceived threats.

One of the most common challenges business establishments face is protecting physical assets form theft. This is particularly difficult when there are opportunities for its own employees to be involved in the theft of physical goods. To meet this challenge the first line of defense is access control composed of physical barriers coupled with an identification system that only allows authorized people to enter controlled spaces and only at specific times (within their work shift for example). This needs to be supplemented by intrusion alarm sensors and CCTV surveillance systems. In many cases, mere knowledge that an establishment employs a professional security system is enough to deter theft.

Another form of physical asset security protection consists of sensors and alarms to monitor for fire and hazards like toxic fumes and gases. Though small open-air retail outlets would not need these, a company producing combustible items such as paper or wooden furniture would.

More than just physical assets, some business firms have a lot of sensitive information which industrial spies would find attractive. This may consist of intellectual property rights and intimate knowledge about the operations of a business or that of its clients; these types of information can be very damaging if it falls into the wrong hands. The same system that protects physical assets also protects against theft of sensitive information and it is supplemented by data access control & security measures.

In these very troubled times, companies should be on guard against any form of sabotage from disgruntled employees, competitors, and people who would do damage just for the hell of it. The most effective protections against such threats are sturdy physical containment barriers, physical and data access control, strategic placement of CCTV surveillance equipment and the deployment of a sufficient number of security personnel.

What Level Of Security Is Sufficient?

We leave that to you and your chosen security professional to define based on your particular situation. With an appropriate security system in place, you can be assured your business is safe. Organizations such as the Security Industry Association may be able to assist you in finding reliable security experts. Just don’t forget that threats and challenges evolve – you will still need a security professional to conduct periodic reviews of your security systems to make sure they can handle the latest threats.

© 2015 Frontier Theme