A California woman is alleging in a lawsuit that her former employer let her go after she deleted an app from her smartphone which was used by the company to track her movements.
Myrna Arias worked as a sales executive for Intermex, a money transfer service. As she was frequently on the go meeting clients, the company asked that she and its other employees install the Xora app on their smartphones. The app is specifically designed for tracking mobile employees.
Arias noted in the lawsuit that while she did not mind being tracked while at work, she could not accept attempts by the company to monitor her movements out of hours.
But this was exactly what Intermex was doing, according to Arias’ account. When she confronted her boss, John Stubits, he admitted that he was using the app to monitor Intermex employees around the clock. He even boasted about being able to see how fast Arias had been driving at certain times, her lawsuit stated.
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Arias described the app as being like a prisoner’s ankle bracelet and warned Stubits that he was conducting illegal activity. However, she alleges that Stubits advised her to tolerate the intrusion.
In an email to Ars Technica, Arias’ attorney Gail Glick emphasized that the app could track an individual’s every move. Although it had a clock-in/out feature, clocking out did not stop the GPS from operating and providing data to the employer, Glick wrote.
Arias declares in her lawsuit that such actions amount to an invasion of privacy, and she also accuses the company of unfair business practices. Along with lost wages, she is claiming punitive damages. The total claim is worth more than $500,000.
Intermex had not commented on the matter at the time of this writing.