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Google Touts Worker Tracking As Own CEO Goes MIA

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the coming-soon-to-a-boss-near-you dept.

Google 272

theodp writes "On Thursday, Google announced a product that enables a business to see where all its workers are at all times. Called Maps Coordinate, it combines a paid-for business version of Google's standard maps product with an application downloaded to a worker's smartphone, creating a real-time record of worker locations. Ironically, Google touted its worker tracking solution on the very same day that CEO Larry Page was a surprise no-show at Google's Annual Shareholder Meeting, leaving Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt to explain his absence. Schmidt explained that Page had lost his voice and, as a result, would likely also miss next week's I/O conference and possibly next month's quarterly earnings call. While a Google spokeswoman declined to comment further on Page's condition, Schmidt added that Page will continue as CEO while he recovers. So, why not reassure those worried about the situation by publicly tracking Page's location via Maps Coordinate? After all, Google's a true believer in eating its own dog food, right?"

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Huh? (5, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415089)

What kind of crap argument is that in the summary? Live tracking the CEO of Google because you're upset about your stocks. Genius.

Re:Huh? (3, Insightful)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415445)

What kind of crap argument is that in the summary? Live tracking the CEO of Google because you're upset about your stocks. Genius.

You identified it already. A crap one.

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415501)

No, live tracking the CEO of Google because Google is pushing live tracking of employees.

Re:Huh? (4, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415759)

No, live tracking the CEO of Google because Google is pushing live tracking of employees.

Right.

It's called turnabout, [merriam-webster.com] and by all accounts is considered fair play.

Tracking employees is just wrong (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415101)

Today they're tracking us during office hours, tomorrow they're tracking us after-hours. What's next?

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415147)

Sunday.

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415637)

MOD PARENT UP.

(implies tracking for religious preferences)

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (4, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415325)

Today they're tracking us during office hours, tomorrow they're tracking us after-hours. What's next?

Hmm, perhaps

Mandatory yearly physicals that only the company gets to see the results of.

Pre-employment genetic testing.

Employment termination due to not living in an approved community.

Background checks of all family, friends, and neighbors.

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (1, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415417)

Today they're tracking us during office hours, tomorrow they're tracking us after-hours. What's next?

Returning to civilized society?
As in switching your work phone on when you get to work, and switching it off when you leave work. That's what I do, because (i) the company's time is 37½ hours per week for 45 weeks of the year [minus a few statutory holidays], with all other time being my own, and (ii) nobody pays me to be "on-call" or available outside work hours, and an offer would have to be very attractive to get me to consent to such an arrangement. If any tracking application is on it, I can only be tracked during working hours. BTW, my job is not at the general lackey level, either.

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415517)

neither is mine, but it makes you wonder about those who are general lackeys. i mean, if you care about other people that is. aw who am i kidding

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (1)

Yosho-sama (800703) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415531)

Phones don't need to be on to have the tracking features functional. Except for completely discharging your device, the only way to prevent signals from getting to or leaving your device would be to dump it in a signal blocking bag every time you're off the clock.

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415581)

If you're not upper-level management, you're a lackey.

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (5, Insightful)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415807)

I find it funny how "civilized society" to you means telling your employer to go pound sand if it's not precisely the time you're supposed to be in the building.
For me civilized is taking the occasional off-hours call in exchange for my employer allowing allowing me take an occasional (and, indeed, quite more frequent) bit of person time during work. Like reading and posting on slashdot, for instance. You know, like you're doing during these (ostensibly) business hours.

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415519)

Tracking your bathroom habits..

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415621)

Tracking your bathroom habits..

"Looks like Peon # 547382 is a wadder, not a folder... recommend T.P. rationing."

Bonus points if you can figure out what that's a reference from... 'cause I sure as hell can't remember.

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (5, Informative)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415655)

Already happens. In some call centers you have to put your bathroom requests into the call center management applications and then the app lets you know when you can get up and go to the bathroom.

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (4, Funny)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415537)

Getting your friends and acquaintances to track you. Oh, wait! That's Facebook.

Re:Tracking employees is just wrong (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415557)

Requiring employees to demonstrate that they don't ingest particular mind-altering substances in their spare time as a condition of their employment?

(Full disclosure: I don't use drugs, but I think it's completely inappropriate that employers test for them.)

Does not correlate (5, Insightful)

javajawa (126489) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415131)

Really don't see how corporate tracking of employees suddenly becomes an expectation of publicly tracking an executive.

Re:Does not correlate (5, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415247)

I agree. The description makes it sound like CEO caught a cold that included laryngitis... Seriously, that's not worthy of telling the whole goddamn planet where he is.

In a world where much work is done at a computer, it's pretty easy to continue as CEO of a company (especially one as tech-oriented as Google) but not be able to participate in a public speaking engagement due to laryngitis.

Re:Does not correlate (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415343)

In a world where much work is done at a computer, it's pretty easy to continue as CEO of a company (especially one as tech-oriented as Google) but not be able to participate in a public speaking engagement due to laryngitis.

Yes it is pretty easy. Its really strange to suggest, today that he might miss the share holder conference more than a week from now though. That is long time to be too sick with a cold virus to participate in what is probably the CEO's most visible event all year. It almost looks like they are trying to manage expectations, which could indicate something is more deeply wrong than him just being out sick today.

Re:Does not correlate (3, Funny)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415539)

yeah like cuz he's dead. it's weekend at bernie's over at google.

Re:Does not correlate (1)

brian.stinar (1104135) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415255)

Yes, 'worker' != 'ceo.'

Re:Does not correlate (0)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415573)

duh. that's how you get to be CEO: by not doing any work and taking credit for others' work. people rise to their highest level of incompetence.

Re:Does not correlate (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415503)

Even executives are employees, but yes this is only for when you are at work. Once you are off the clock, turn off the program and you are no longer tracked.

My phone is dumb. (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415667)

Good luck with any company trying to track it. In fact my phone is so old, it has an analog transceiver for use on old networks (like rural Wyoming). So I don't care if my company TRIES to track me; they will fail.

WTF? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415153)

it combines a paid-for business version of Google's standard maps product with an application downloaded to a worker's smartphone, creating a real-time record of worker locations

No. A thousand times no.

I can't believe people would be willing to do this.

Re:WTF? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415203)

It's no different than companies tracking workers who drive company-owned vehicles. There are many legitimate reasons to do this. Companies that do repair household appliance repair, or telecom technicians are tracked in order to give customers updated time estimates of when the employee will arrive.

Re:WTF? (5, Informative)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415209)

Many companies already do this. It's to track work crews for things like utility repairs, on-site troubleshooting, etc. It helps with scheduling and knowing who's close by when the next call comes in. There are plenty of 3rd party software packages that do this but when Google gets into the mix suddenly it's all 1984.

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415275)

when Google gets into the mix suddenly it's all 1984

No, because once the technology is available, some asshole at the C level will decide that all employees need to install this on their phone. Even if is a privately owned phone.

I don't want the government tracking where I am. I don't want my employer tracking where I am. I don't want Google tracking where I am. As soon as one of them has it, the rest of them will want access to the information.

But you're right, it sure as hell is 1984 ... once people start doing this, there's all sorts of ways it gets abused or suffers from scope creep.

Eventually it becomes a condition of employment, or any number of things. Categorically, DO NOT WANT.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415357)

You goddamn well better be at work during work hours. I think this is great. I see so many people stopping for 'smokey treats' or swinging by a friends house or even gets to town for a meeting the next day but heads off to the local tourist attraction to kill today. If you're on the clock, you're on the clock. I think this is great - it could encourage productivity and for those of us who really go 100% during work time, the appreciation of our colleagues.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415605)

Apparently their managers are ok with them not working. Or it's rewards for work/success that you don't know about. Or it's an employment agreement.

Get over it. No one appreciates smug assholes telling them what they should do. Maybe they're just avoiding you...

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415647)

it could encourage productivity and for those of us who really go 100% during work time, the appreciation of our colleagues.

No, it will lead to your "colleagues" despising you as the whiney narc that got the company to put tracking devices in their phones. And since no technology is perfect, it's only a matter of time before your position on the map starts identifying you as visiting the local gay bar (if straight, strip club if gay) during work hours.

Re:WTF? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415805)

it's only a matter of time before your position on the map starts identifying you as visiting the local gay bar (if straight, strip club if gay) during work hours.

Huh... I was going to suggest a blanket party, but yea, that's a good one too!

Not to mention, no need to gather tube socks and bars of soap...

Re:WTF? (1)

JonahsDad (1332091) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415739)

it could encourage productivity and for those of us who really go 100% during work time, the appreciation of our colleagues.

Says someone posting in the middle of the day on a Friday.

Yes, I realize there are plenty of reasons why these two items might not conflict. However given that it was posted AC, I reject said reasons.

Re:WTF? (3, Interesting)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415763)

But it will only show your location, not how hard you're working. Plenty of people are AT work but not DOING work.

Re:WTF? (2)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415361)

If that scenario ever came to light I would make it my life goal to hack that tracking functionality.

A digital, freedom-fighter kind of hacking...

I'm dead serious.

People are so scared of technology being used to track everyone, and rightfully so.

But can' technology ALSO be used to UN-track people?

Just look at tor and bitcoin as embryonic examples of what I am trying to get at...

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415561)

If that scenario ever came to light I would make it my life goal to hack that tracking functionality.

A digital, freedom-fighter kind of hacking...

I'm dead serious.

I hope you've already started your freedom-fighting because you are being tracked if you carry cellphone. Where do you think the traffic data comes from on a map? Do you know for sure that your phone's signal is not traceable back to you? Sure there is "process and procedures" to keep people from eavesdropping, but do you trust process and procedures from protecting us?

Re:WTF? (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415695)

If that scenario ever came to light I would make it my life goal to hack that tracking functionality.

A digital, freedom-fighter kind of hacking...

How about just a "Leaving your phone on your desk" kind of hacking?

Or would that not be exciting and edgy enough?

Re:WTF? (1)

nonameisgood2 (2661533) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415459)

Scope creep... or a creep scope?

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415463)

So since this tech he's been in active use at many blue collar jobs for15 years or so...

Re:WTF? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415481)

when Google gets into the mix suddenly it's all 1984

No, because once the technology is available, some asshole at the C level will decide that all employees need to install this on their phone.

The technology has been available for years, yet few employers use it:

http://us.blackberry.com/smartphones/features/gps.jsp [blackberry.com]

Even if is a privately owned phone.

I don't want the government tracking where I am.

Too late, as long as your phone is powered on, the government can track you. No software needed.

Re:WTF? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415617)

Pretty sure they at least need the software that talks to the cell towers....

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415543)

No, because once the technology is available, some asshole at the C level will decide that all employees need to install this on their phone.

And then (because the technology is available) we can install a spoofer. The real fun doesn't come until the spoofers have been running for several years. Eventually the management finds out. That's when you send out the signal to all the spoofers. When the coordinates are plotted on a map, it spells out FUCK YOU.

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415337)

Or, more importantly, tracking important shipments and the drivers who are tasked with delivering them. It goes from being able to provide excellent service (Bill is exactly 67 miles from your office) to knowing where it is when it has been high-jacked. This is going to replace a lot of homegrown stuff.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415237)

I doubt this is for watching your office drones' every movement. It would be really handy for service-based businesses that need to dispatch workers to various locations. Think cable repair men. When a call comes in, the closest idle worker can be dispatched to the location. And all it requires is a cellphone.

Re:WTF? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415317)

I doubt this is for watching your office drones' every movement. It would be really handy for service-based businesses that need to dispatch workers to various locations. Think cable repair men. When a call comes in, the closest idle worker can be dispatched to the location. And all it requires is a cellphone.

Exactly - besides, cell phones aren't the best solution for in-building tracking. Employers that want to track employees inside building use RFID tags and Wifi tracking tags.

Re:WTF? (1)

pointyhat (2649443) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415251)

I doubt if it was a corporate device that the end user would know (regardless of the law). I'm off to close my gmail account now because this has disgusted me. Sorry but I will never support an organisation that promotes such things. Back to mutt and postfix!

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415297)

You realize lots of organizations already do this right?

Scheduling arrivals of service people and deliveries pretty much requires tracking them.

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415441)

I doubt if it was a corporate device that the end user would know (regardless of the law).

I'm off to close my gmail account now because this has disgusted me. Sorry but I will never support an organisation that promotes such things. Back to mutt and postfix!

Do you really think Google is the only provider for employee tracking?

You better stop using the internet too.... your packets are being routed over Cisco gear, and Cisco sells appliances that enable employers to track their employees via Wifi tags. By continuing to use the internet, you're supporting Cisco.

If you really wanted to take a stand against employee tracking, you'd push your legislators to make it illegal. Closing your gmail account accomplishes nothing (and no one really believes that you're going to do it unless you're already not using it) Though I do think there are many legitimate reasons for an employer to track employees, like tracking outside service technicians to predict when they will be able to go to their next call, making sure that the courier that's carrying cash between buildings doesn't make any unexpected detours (due to carjack or outright theft), tracking scientists in a lab for safety - i.e. if he enters a hazardous materials storage room but doesn't leave the room after X minutes, maybe someone should check on him, etc.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415271)

people wouldn't have a choice that's how, this is for businesses with business provided phones, which mean the company can do anything they like with them. I mean i don't, wouldn't like this on my phone (if i had a work provided phone) but there is nothing i could really do about it. But on my own personal phone, hahahah, ya good luck with that.

Re:WTF? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415351)

it combines a paid-for business version of Google's standard maps product with an application downloaded to a worker's smartphone, creating a real-time record of worker locations

Not to MY smartphone.

Re:WTF? (1)

Jahf (21968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415363)

rooted device + fakeGPS = workaround ... however ...

When they stop letting me use my personal device and/or refuse to let me root ... then we have an issue. An issue that shouldn't have occurred in the first place. I know I'd fight this.

As a full-time telecommuter I tend to work from coffee shops, restaurants, and waaaaay past normal work hours as it is. My productivity should be what they care about. If I am tethered to a desk and need to work normal office hours, that's fine, but my stuff will be OFF for the other 16 hours and they don't want that, either.

Re:WTF? (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415399)

Well, maybe if I could be assured that it was only on company time and wouldn't be used for an unreasonable level of micromanagement. However, we all should know by now that many employers won't stop there, and will insist on the ability to track you on your off-hours as well. It'll be the Facebook password fiasco all over again.

Employees are people that you pay in return for services rendered. They aren't property.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415511)

You are mistakenly belive that "workers" do get a say in this. You can be "willing" to use it or get another job.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415657)

If you want employment you'll be willing. I assume you are retired?

Re:WTF? (2)

IorDMUX (870522) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415779)

I can't believe people would be willing to do this.

I can think of plenty of industries where this is already done to some degree -- a Google maps integration would likely only help things. A few examples:

National Park Service rangers (often using radios, at the moment)
The trucking/shipping industry (OmniTRACS and the like)
Utility work (dunno... GPS?)
Large scale mining/quarry/construction work (again, radios)
Medical, security, and service at amusement parks (again, radios -- I've done this, it's pretty important to be able to know where person X or the guy with Y equipment is at any time)

And plenty more, I'm sure. In many cases, these employees are already given a work radio or phone to keep in contact. I doubt that most of these employees take their radios home, why would they take home their company phones?

I know people are worried about scope creep and big brother and the like, but this isn't as groundbreaking as it seems. Employers have had the ability to call you at home for a long time, now, and company vehicles are often very well tracked, yet most of us don't worry about our boss watching us sleep.

Did you actually look at the product description [google.com] ? It is an excellent example of Google organizing, compiling, and putting in one easy to use place information that most businesses already use to operate day-to-day. The groundbreaking feature is Google's ability to process the data... ... just take a look.

Page is busy with Ellison... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415157)

...vacationing on his newly purchased island paradise.

I mean if you had to pick between a bunch of whining shareholders and pineapple, scantily clad women, and sun: which would you choose?

Yeah, I thought so.

Where's the ethics? (1)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415167)

Everyone knows Larry Page has no respect for personal boundaries but the programmers at Google disappoint me for enabling his relentless pursuit of killing privacy.

Re:Where's the ethics? (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415327)

they turn a blind eye.

treat them like primadonnas, give them free lunch and fancy perks and they'll turn a blind eye.

seriously. its easy to convince kids (most are kids, lets be honest) to ignore long-term ethical considerations when , OOH SHINEY! is given to them, again and again.

Re:Where's the ethics? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415649)

Reminds me of a project about 70 years ago. Even adults ignored long-term ethical considerations, until way too late.

What was it called? The Long Island Project? No. The Brooklyn Project? No. Something...

Re:Where's the ethics? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415731)

So what exactly are the long-term ethical considerations one should have regarding a weapon that is too terrible for it to ever be used on a large scale? It's the small scale, easy to use weapons such as the AK-47 and land mines that are the least ethical.

The Manhattan Project invented the Best Boogeyman EVER!!

Re:Where's the ethics? (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415767)

So bombs that kill one person are worse ethically than bombs that kill millions?

What

The

Fuck

Are

You

On

?

Re:Where's the ethics? (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415563)

Google's unofficial motto.

Information wants to be collated and sold!

Soulskill (5, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415177)

Leave it to Soulskill to post this crap. Time to block the editor again eh? Sad how low the standards have gotten here.

Re:Soulskill (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415305)

Yes, anyone who speaks out against Google for being a nasty hypocritical ad network must be struck down. Google good! ARRRRR

Re:Soulskill (4, Insightful)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415513)

There's a difference between posting an article about a controversial new google technology. It's quite another to stretch it out and say google is being hypocritical for not using the tech to track their ceo who is out sick. Then to go on with stupid ramblings of "assure those shareholders who are worried..." It really is stupid.

Re:Soulskill (4, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415693)

So you buy that he lost his voice and won't be at the quarterly earnings meeting - In late July?

That doesn't smell suspicious to you?

Re:Soulskill (3)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415551)

I'm really really confused by your comment. How can you have a UID that low AND think slashdot has standards?

Re:Soulskill (5, Funny)

geek (5680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415571)

Alzheimers

Use Google to get around Google? (1)

spiritgreywolf (683532) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415187)

Maybe put your work phone on your desk, forward calls using Google voice to your personal cell phone. Problem solved on the occasion when you need to sneak out, maybe? ..I'm sure those brainiacs already covered that possibility?

Re:Use Google to get around Google? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415319)

Maybe put your work phone on your desk, forward calls using Google voice to your personal cell phone. Problem solved on the occasion when you need to sneak out, maybe? ..I'm sure those brainiacs already covered that possibility?

Except Google shares data with Google now that they moved to a unified privacy model (courtesy Steve Jobs - makes you wonder if this was his revenge on Google). So the tracker probably lets you trace through Google Voice as well.

Re:Use Google to get around Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415395)

So it hooks into the accelerometer/gyros to determine if the phone is sitting there or actually being held up to an ear. How's that, smarty?

Re:Use Google to get around Google? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415625)

I think phones would have better ways of telling if it is forwarding phone calls or not.

Unless you are thinking of the taping two phones together idea, but you would still have to hit the answer button for that to work.

The shills have gone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415197)

It is interesting, I don't think I've seen a super obvious shilling on slashdot for a month or so.

permanent record of where everyone has been (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415235)

This will be popular until some corporate CEO's wife finds out where said CEO was during "lunch".

Re:permanent record of where everyone has been (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415259)

Who said the CEO would use this on himself? No, this kind of tracking is only for the peons.

Re:Liability (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415505)

This will be popular until some corporate CEO's wife finds out where said CEO was during "lunch".

You bring up a point even if the CEO!=worker.

What if some hotshot divorce lawyer uses this and hires a hacker or someone at work to find Bob had an affair. Bob could sue MegaCorp and Bob's wife could file a lawsuit if the company refuses to hand over documents and would have to pay subpoena costs for the whole non job related affair.

It could get even worse in sexual harassment cases. The supreme court ruled the corporation is liable for a hostile work environment at a bar if a boss sexual harasses an employee out of the office off the clock. This would provide plenty of evidence for the lawyers to drool over. What is next, MegaCorp knew Joe drove home from a bar at a business trip and did a DUI and killed a family of 4 but MegaCorp didn't stop him??? Yes bartenders and employers are liable if they know an intoxicated worker is leaving the premises. Now we have proof etc.

CEO's do not equal rank-and-file employees (4, Insightful)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415289)

So, why not reassure those worried about the situation by publicly tracking Page's location via Maps Coordinate?

Uh, because there would be no point? What does the CEO's location have to do with stock performance?

And I'm no Google fan (I'm an Apple stockholder), but there are obviously some security issues involving the whereabouts of a famous billionaire CEO (e.g., kidnap and ransom?) that don't apply to the rank-and-file employee.

Re:CEO's do not equal rank-and-file employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415769)

Because if the CEO's location is in the Cayman Islands just before the the Feds launch a tax fraud investigation against the company, you can expect the stock to hit rock bottom even if the Feds publicly come out and say "We fucked up, they're completely and totally innocent. We'll even put it in writing for them."

Re:CEO's do not equal rank-and-file employees (4, Insightful)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415781)

Uh, because there would be no point? What does the CEO's location have to do with stock performance?

Say, you're right! Let's stop paying them 500x what we pay rank-and-file employees while we're at it.

Google minus one... (3, Insightful)

mindmaster064 (690036) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415295)

There probably was a time when Google was a beneficent geek Mecca but it has morphed into a tyrannical beast. Apple and Google both make my list of disappointing companies whom have decided to use their new found power for evil. Everything Google has been doing has been concerned with undermining privacy or stifling innovation and frankly other than being forced to YouTube (for lack of alternates) I won't have anything to do with their products personally. It's time to let these power hungry money grubbing shitheads die -- they are not what they sold us in the beginning anymore.

Re:Google minus one... (1)

hackula (2596247) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415423)

...Sounds like a regular old company to me

Re:Google minus one... (1)

mindmaster064 (690036) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415447)

I agree, but Google originally sold itself as an ethical cyber-citizen. Now it just comes off as a scam.

Re:Google minus one... (3, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415437)

I too have issues with Google but this "story" isn't one of them.

Regardless, what are alternatives? I can't even pay for products that equal googles. I've actively looked for services as good as theirs that I can pay for and not be tracked or sold to the highest bidder. I have yet to find decent replacements to gmail, google maps, docs and search. I did switch my email over to an iCloud account since I have an iPhone and a Mac anyway but still, Apple isn't the most moral company either.

I've considered running my own services and may very well end up doing so soon. I'd rather pay someone decent though and not trouble myself with the admin overhead. I get enough of it at work, I don't need it at home too.

Re:Google minus one... (2)

mindmaster064 (690036) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415645)

I think the real dilemma is the psyche of the average consumer. Let's face it how many people need a cloud? It's a luxury that you're getting by subsidizing various evil empires. It's not always what you get, but rather what you endorse. I rather give an ethical company with less service the same money for a reduced service than give a corrupt one anything. Amazon provides these same services for most uses and I don't feel morally complicated by using them. They do not profit by me viewing ads or leaking my information everywhere. Some of the onus is on the user though -- blocking cookies, using tools like Collusion to see what sites are doing, and installing adblocking and hosts files. If they never get the impression they do not profit on you -- so think about that. Google search is certainly king, but you could use Duck Duck Go which is more like a search aggregation which wraps Google and others and filters the badness off of them. (Check their about page... they're really good...)

Google Maps+ The NEW way to stalk HOT co-workers! (1)

mindmaster064 (690036) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415355)

Sorry... Couldn't resist. :)

G00GLE and 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415371)

I think Orwell's 1984 was a serious understatement.

Ugh (1)

Simulant (528590) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415377)

Borders on evil.

Re:Ugh (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415509)

If this only "borders on" evil, I'd hate to see what you consider "definitely evil."

Re:Ugh (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415783)

The FAR side of the border (as in already crossed over).

I am not Waldo or Carmen Sandiego. (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415419)

Perhaps it's just me, but when I'm not at work, or traveling for work, it's none of my company's fucking business where I am.

Re:I am not Waldo or Carmen Sandiego. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415479)

How do you feel about piss tests then?

An employer checking for pot use that occurs entirely off-site and after-hours (via the piss tests at either pre-employment or via random) is doing the same invasive snooping into your personal life. Credit checks, background checks that go too far, its all the *entitlement* of the employers, these days.

Expect it.

Re:I am not Waldo or Carmen Sandiego. (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415587)

That may be true, but unless and until there is a law protecting your privacy in a meaningful way, your opinion on what is and is not any of your employer's business is irrelevant. They can get the data, so all they need is a motive.

FAGGOTS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415433)

you people are all a bunch of nigger loving faggots!!!

Track the top executive? (1)

zerovampire311 (2620099) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415443)

I'm sorry, but I don't think it's a reasonable shot to call them out for not tracking their CEO. If it were planned to use him as a demo, sure, but I don't think ANY company in the world would track the location of their CEO, and I don't think any non-journalistic/antagonizing perspectives would expect them to "Eat their own dog food" in this case.

4 possibilities to "opt out" of (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415485)

1) Do not give workers cell phones and do not track them

2) Do give workers cell phones and do not track them.

3) Do give workers cell phones and do track them.

4) Do not give workers cell phones and do track them.

In any of these cases, employees can "Opt Out" (quit). Even a 10% quit rate would probably cause a company to rethink its strategy. The question is, are 10 percent more likely to quit over not being given a phone, or for being tracked? At our company, we give the staff cell phones but only track truck drivers in order to know where the trucks are during their routes. Since the CEO is not a truck driver, his phone is not tracked. Is that hypocracy? Or maybe the truck drivers just don't realize they are being exploited? Ugh, It gets so complicated, this process of giving devices to employees to improve their productivity...

Re:4 possibilities to "opt out" of (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415823)

5) My company phone keeps "breaking" for some reason.

Google (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40415489)

Google Employee #1(Joe): Bob, we have this product that enables a business to see where all its workers are at all times.

Google Employee #2(Bob): But isn't our motto 'Do no Evil'?

Joe: Bob, does your wife know where you were last night? We do Bob, WE do.

Because it's a HIPAA/privacy violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40415669)

So, Larry Page "lost his voice" and may miss next month's meeting? Like 30 days from now? That's more than just a sore throat. That indicates a serious condition such throat cancer, vocal fold hemorrhage, etc that may or may not require surgery. Disclosing this kind information is a violation a violation of an employees rights as well as his rights as a patient. So no, you couldn't track him. This also explains why they are playing coy. It is illegal for them to disclose the exact nature or cause of Larry Page's absence.

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