In the hectic cut-throat global textile sector, many manufacturers and retailers will do almost anything to gain the competitive edge over the other businesses in their industry. For example, if you are a textile dyer. You know that your prices are on the mark. In fact, by implementing some unique water saving methodologies, you can offer slightly lower prices than your competitors.
However, what happens when your sales figures suddenly drop, and upon conducting the necessary investigations, you discover that one of you competitors has dropped his prices below yours. What do you do? Do you suspect one of your employees of selling trade secrets? If so, would you consider the options of monitoring the sent and received traffic on their mobile phones?
The legalities of monitoring mobile phone traffic
The rise in mobile phone content monitoring raises similar legal issues that currently exist in the GPS monitoring industry. Ergo, does an employer have the legal right to monitor the whereabouts of their employees during working hours, as well as call logs, text and multimedia messages, as well as graphic content, etc. on their phones.
There is no doubt that when you as an employer have the right to read text messages that are received and sent; you mitigate the risk of a disgruntled employee committing industrial espionage and selling your trade secrets to the competition. The employee might not even need to be disgruntled; your competition might have made him an irresistible financial offer.
However, the mitigation of this risk does not provide a legal and ethical answer to this question. In short, the short answer to the legal issue is that for it to be acceptable to install content monitoring software on their personal mobile phones, you need to get their permission. Of course, if it is a company-issued phone, then you do not need to ask permission before you install monitoring software on their phones.
The ethics of monitoring cell phone traffic
Is it ethical to keep an eye on what your staff do on their personal and work mobile phones? By way of answering this question, the challenge with installing mobile monitoring apps on your employees' phones is that you send an indirect message that you do not trust them.
Is it ethical to keep an eye on what your staff do on their personal and work mobile phones? By way of answering this question, the challenge with installing mobile monitoring apps on your employees' phones is that you send an indirect message that you do not trust them. It’s difficult to build and scale up your business if your firm's culture is that of mistrust.
Even if you explain why staff need to agree to have the tracking and monitoring app installed on the mobile devices before they bring them into the company offices, there will still be challenges around morale and trust amongst your staff.
Therefore, the answer to the question of whether you should install tracking and monitoring software on your employee’s mobile phones the same conclusion that you come to on the ethics issue.