Erika Moore

Employers tracking you while you travel for work? Yes or No?

September 10, 2018

What did you do on the second Tuesday in March last year? Or the year before that? Any idea?

If Facebook Memories hasn’t already shown you those holiday snaps you’d prefer not to be reminded of while stuck in the office, then a quick flick through Google maps will give you the answer. In fact, if not disabled, the Google maps app will track your every moment, every hour of every day, using the location services on your phone. 

So, your personal life’s already being monitored by strangers, how do you feel about your employers tracking you on your work or business trips? According to a Travelport survey, (U.S. Business Traveler & Travel Policy 2018), over 50% of business travelers don’t mind. In fact, they’d actively agree to their employers monitoring them by GPS.

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a travelers’ bag without a device holding a GPS based app, or to even think how you would organize your journey without one. Unless you’ve been off daydreaming since 2010, you can’t have missed Uber’s domination of the GPS based app market.  Their location services are the backbone of their set-up, and they are constantly being updated; made more and more accurate to ensure the journeys of their passengers are stress-free.

The app even tracks location for a certain time frame after a journey has finished, if kept open on a device. This may seem a little “Big Brother-esque”, but the company has previously stated that this helps them offer reliable pick-ups, improve service and enhance the safety of their customers.

Travelport Hotelzon uses GPS location to search locally for hotels – useful if you forget to book or need to tag on an extra night. With the opportunity to keep track of the travelling employees’ whereabouts using this kind of data, companies can stay updated for safety and security reasons[DA1] .

Travelport Digital also has several GPS data-based tools. Oracle apps like ‘Travelport Engage, allow creativity with more personal messages specific to all stages of a journey, notifying travelers of cancellations, delays or gate changes. ‘Travelport Trip Assist’ also provides travel details in real time and, just like ' Engage’, creative push notifications will alert travelers about trip updates as well as baggage carousel information to avoid unnecessary waiting around.

So, it looks like GPS will only continue to grow as an important element of travel (the GPS Tracking Device Market’s expected to reach USD 2.89 billion by 2023!). However, with 45% of business travellers who took part in Travelport’s survey [BJ4] stating they’re against being tracked while travelling, we have a little way to go before this becomes second nature.

 For full survey results, please click here