Choosing a Travel Safety App that Respects Employee Privacy Concerns
Nowadays, privacy concerns are at the top of everyone’s list. People feel like they are constantly being spied upon – on the phones, on Internet searches on their computers, even in public places. Indeed, the government is racing ahead with biometrics and facial recognition technology at US ports of entry. The Los Angeles Times, for example, recently ran an article entitled, “At some airports, your face is your ID. But does that put your privacy at risk?“explaining that the CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) was dramatically enhancing the use of biometrics at ports of entry. According to the article, the CBP has already scanned more the faces of more than 25 million passengers, apprehended 180 impostors, and confirmed that more than 20,000 travelers have overstayed their visas. Biometrics is coming, and yet people are concerned about the impact this may have on privacy.
Privacy Concerns for Employers
How does that relate to you? You’re probably a hard-working HR executive or the “unlucky soul” at your company in charge of coordinating business travel for senior executives and employees. Your job is to know where they when they travel abroad, and then to monitor them. In addition to planning their trips such as itinerary, hotel, flights, and other travel arrangements, you need to keep them safe or at least empower them to be pro-active about their own international travel security. You’re not the government, so you can’t just forge ahead regardless of how your “public” feels about travel security. You run more of a “democracy” than does the CBP, meaning you have to deal with their privacy concerns up front.
Travel Security Apps for Employee Travel Abroad
You may have heard of travel security apps for employee travel, and even considered some. What do you find? You often find two types. Very low end, free apps on the Apple store or Google Play that don’t offer many features. These very low end apps aren’t appropriate for serious business travelers, and don’t do very much to enhance security. On the other end, you may find very intrusive and incognito apps that monitor employee’s whereabouts without their consent or knowledge. Often these are designed for delivery services and truck driver outfits so that they can track employee whereabouts and look for malfeasance. Neither of these is what you need.
Instead, you’re looking for a robust travel security app that includes itinerary monitoring for employees yet is transparent; that is, something that the employee knows is “in use” and respects his or her privacy concerns. FoneTrac is designed for just this type of use-case scenario. The employee installs it on his or her phone, and they are an active participant in its use. So it’s not a “stealth” app but rather a team app between you and the employee. One of its unique features is itinerary tracking. This allows the employee to “check in” periodically and notify that back office where he is located. Another one is that it has both “push” and “pull” notification capabilities in the event of an emergency. And third the employee can access our GlobalSecur backend for assistance by real humans. Unlike cheap, free travel security apps, the employee is never “on his own.”
Employee travel security, in summary, is a team effort. Part of that needs to be a respectful and thoughtful approach to privacy. If you’re interested in a demo, give us a call.