According to various news sources out of New York, including the New York Daily News, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has determined that more than 36,000 taxi drivers overcharged passengers a total of more than $8.3 million over a 26-month period. According to the investigation, the cabbies set the rate for these passengers at a higher rate established for fares outside the city limits even though the destination did not call for the higher fare. How did the Commission reach this conclusion? By checking the electronic trip data from GPS systems installed in the taxis. Without this technology, it is doubtful that the Commission would have uncovered the alleged consumer fraud or its apparent scope.
Over recent years, private employers have begun using location monitoring devices to improve efficiency and monitor employee deviations from their assigned work areas. Federal law does not regulate these practices and only a handful of states (not Ohio) have enacted relevant legislation. In order to protect employee privacy when monitoring their location, employers should issue a clearly defined policy that advises employees they are using GPS or other location monitoring technology and that delineates the manner in which they are using it. Employers should also ensure that they are using location monitoring for legitimate business reasons and that they discontinue all location monitoring during non-work hours in the absence of legitimate investigatory purposes, such as when there is substantial evidence that a company delivery vehicle is being used by an employee for personal use.