School District looks to collect GPS data

School District looks to collect GPS data

In today’s hi- tech age, not only can technology help us to make our mark but we also leave our mark too.

"There are things being tracked about where you are, what you do, the messages you send," said News  Channel 5's Internet Security Expert Alan Crowetz.

“We leave a digital footprint almost everywhere, but especially while at work”, he said.

"Most computer systems, without even trying, track when you come in, when you log off.  When you're working, when you're not working, to some degree," he added.

Most of us are unaware that our employer can track more than just our digital footprint. Some are able to track our physical footprint by using our work-issued cellphone GPS tracking data.

The Palm Beach County school system is looking to update its policy to make employees aware that, if necessary, it can use the data collected with their GPS locator on the district-issued cellphones.

"If ever there is any question of criminal activity and the school police needed to look into the whereabouts of an employee at a specific time, then they could obtain this information," said Palm Beach County Schools Spokesperson Julie Houston Trieste.

It would only apply to about 350 district employees who have district-issued cellphones, practically none of them teachers. The district says it would only collect the data if there was a reason to investigate it.

To say they are being tracked is a misnomer as no one is actually tracking any employee, but the history of their movement is accessible.

It is of course possible to turn off the GPS locator on your phone. However, if you do that, you lose the ability to get direction from your current location, a facility we all take for granted.

The School Board will be discussing the policy change at a special meeting Wednesday afternoon.

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