Big Brother is Alive and Living in New Jersey

As someone who grew up in a city, The Curmudgeon is familiar with the sight of trash trucks parked outside of bars in the middle of the day. Anyone who’s had such an experience has felt at least a momentary sense of outrage over the possibility that a city employee – someone being paid with their tax money – is drinking during working hours.

And never even considered that the trash workers might just be peeing during working hours (because where else can they do that?).

Apparently the state of New Jersey has such concerns as well, but instead of just sitting and stewing over these concerns, state officials are doing something about them.

They’re bugging their employees’ cell phones.

As reported recently in the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The State of New Jersey tracks more than 400 workers by bugging their phones so supervisors know when they clock in, where they are at any given moment, what route they take to get there, how fast they drive, and whether they make unauthorized stops.

big brotherState officials offer a number of explanations for bugging their workers’ state-owned cell phones – nonsense like helping them respond to emergencies, improving productivity, and reducing insurance rates – but you know this is all about lack of trust and lack of respect for their employees.

The technology for the practice comes from Verizon, the corporate personification of evil, and according to the Inquirer it’s already being used in Detroit, Chicago, and elsewhere and is being considered for use in Philadelphia – presumably, to stop those trash men from peeing in bars on the public’s dime.

Is it legal? Yes. Is it wrong? Yes again. If you can’t trust your employees, you shouldn’t continue employing them. Treat them like this and you will reap what you have sown.

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  • […] paying client. (The Curmudgeon has written about Verizon before – you can find that here and here – and he has another Verizon story coming in the near future as well. These folks are as good a […]

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