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As the use of technology, social media, and phone apps continues to grow and becomes more prevalent, the lines of privacy have become more blurred in both professional and personal life. People are constantly “checking in,” posting their locations, sharing photographs, and in numerous other ways willingly giving up their privacy to further blur the line. And in an attempt to promote efficiency and productivity, businesses are increasingly using Global Positioning Systems to track their employees’ conduct, offering some assurances that their workers are being safe and obeying traffic laws, following company policies, and keeping accurate time sheets.

Employers use GPS trackers in company-owned vehicles, smart phones, or other devices; they may require a GPS tracker to be placed on an employee’s personally-owned vehicle, or even require use of an app on a smartphone that uses GPS technology. But in using these tracking and monitoring methods, it is imperative that employers know their legal limits or they could find themselves in the kind of trouble that would not be kept private.

When using GPS tracking systems to track employee travel routes, recorded work time, safety, efficiency, and productivity, employers must ensure and be able to demonstrate that there is a legitimate business rationale for intruding on an employee’s privacy. While there is no federal statute that directly regulates the use of GPS tracking for private employees, Texas is one state that allows employers to use GPS systems. Despite this allowance, there are certain guidelines employers should follow.

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