On April Fool’s Day, a leading Indian media house sent a curious mail to its staff: “Starting today, 1st April, we are launching a new Leave and Attendance System for all employees in our Print Business. This system will be available on mobile and will also have a web version.” However, the mail wasn’t a prank. The management described it as a step towards digitisation for convenience as well as to have a tracking system in accordance with the format mandated by the government. The move puzzled employees as they already had fingerprint-based attendance reporting. Besides, there was a catch—they claimed the mobile application would track their GPS coordinates.
“It’s almost snooping!” complained a staff member. “We have been told to download a mobile application and mark attendance through it when we enter the office. The app has access to the phone’s GPS and tracks our movement whenever we log into it. This is an invasion of privacy and we don’t even have a platform to protest.” She questioned whether the government actually needed the reports in a certain format. “It’s an employer’s prerogative after all,” she declares.