Gov't Favors Allowing Companies to Track Employees via Cellphone

Labor MK proposes legislation preventing cell phone companies from revealing to companies the whereabouts of their employees. Gov't opposes bill.

Hillel Fendel ,

No place to hide
No place to hide

Legislation has been proposed to prevent cellular phone companies from giving information regarding the whereabouts of cellular phone users to employers.  The government opposes the bill.

Cellular phone companies can easily locate the whereabouts of any given phone at any given time.  This information is occasionally used by the police, with the approval of a judge, to find criminals, missing persons, and the like.

However, no court approval is required when companies wish to find their employees.  Phones purchased by companies and given to their employees are generally registered in the companies' names, and therefore they have the right to ask the phone companies to locate the phones. This essentially gives them the ability to locate, at any given moment, the employees who carry the phones.

The cellular service providers often offer this service, for a fee, to the employers.

MK Ophir Pines-Pas (Labor), the Chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee, has proposed a bill that would forbid the cellular phone companies from offering this information.  He says it represents a grave threat to employees' privacy and basic rights.

However, the government's ministerial legislation committee voted against the bill on Sunday, meaning that the government and its coalition MKs will not support the bill when it comes up for a Knesset vote.

MK Pines says he plans to continue to advance the bill, despite the government's opposition, and will bring it for its preliminary Knesset reading this Wednesday.  His spokesman told Arutz-7 that its chances of passing have dropped in light of the government's opposition, "but we are not giving up; MKs from both the opposition and coalition have expressed support and will vote for it."

"I'm not surprised that the government objects," Pines said, "because its offices use exactly these methods to track its employees."