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- Studying trends. As smart technology becomes more pervasive, industry trends will become obvious. One such example relates to the use of a telematics service, such as OnStar, to track the location of company-provided vehicles. Regulators have recently fined car rental companies for using telematics systems such as AirIQ to track vehicle inventory and customer habits without notifying their customers.
- Identifying liability and responsibility. There are legal ramifications that should be assessed prior to employing usage and location monitoring. Courts have ruled that law enforcement officials can use wiretaps to turn two-way telematics systems, such as OnStar, into bugs. CIOs and IT managers are well advised to recognize all of the possible angles and who's liable in each scenario.
- Creating an accurate inventory of company-provided wireless devices. It's impossible for an enterprise to understand its privacy issues without knowing which employee devices support tracking. Some carriers track phones using built-in GPS chips, while others use network technology. Assuming that non-GPS phones don't have privacy issues is an easy way to underestimate the scope and solution options. Enterprises should demand that carriers provide detailed information about the capabilities of each device and any monitoring in place.
- Watching related legislation. In 2002, the FCC declined wireless industry requests that it create detailed rules regarding privacy. Without a uniform, industry-standard methodology, individual enterprises would be well advised to consider related topics before the Senate, Congress, and state lawmakers when crafting internal rules. One issue currently before the California Senate and other state's legislators addresses privacy guidelines for RFID tags. This topic confirms that legislators are concerned about wireless privacy, regardless of the application or underlying technology. Enterprises that ignore this and future legislation that could impact wireless privacy run the risk of having a law nicknamed after their company.
- Developing corporate policies. Internal privacy policies should be reviewed and revised as needed to include language that properly addresses privacy issues and the activities monitored by smartphones and other devices. Enterprises should treat this subject carefully to ensure that employee morale is not negatively affected by perceived threats to privacy.
DiscussionBell Labs' Privacy-Conscious Personalization technology
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