Everything You Need To Know About Location Tracking Technology

Everything You Need To Know About Location Tracking Technology

Is your business is thinking about using employee location tracking?

Location tracking for employers does not necessarily require an investment in additional technology. The vast majority of mobile devices already in use by your employees are equipped with GPS tracking.

Knowing more about how the technology works is a great way to make a decision about whether your business should use location tracking, so we gathered some of the most vital information for you.

Location Tracking On Mobile Apps

iOS and Android are able to expose location tracking capabilities to app developers to use, and all modern web browsers are also capable of location tracking as well. Varying accuracy and types of location tracking are available on both platforms.

Developing on iOS and Android are two very different experiences. Documentation and rules surrounding time and location tracking on both platforms is confusing, as well as the requirements and methods of developing in general.

Perhaps the biggest controversy surrounding location tracking is user permission, so it is important to note that all platforms require that a user gives permission for their device to be tracked.

How iOS Location Tracking Works

  • iOS Developers have to choose between high accuracy/high battery drain and low accuracy/low battery drain when they are building an app.
  • They use Apple-provided location tracking tools.
    Apple is more restrictive on apps using location tracking.
  • Background location tracking is indicated by arrow at the top of the screen of the phone or other iOS mobile device.
  • Apple provides more flexibility in location permissions presented to users as well.

How Android Location Tracking Works

  • Android Developers also have to choose between high accuracy/high battery drain and low accuracy/low battery drain when they are building an app.
  • They use Google-provided location tracking tools.
  • The user provides a single permission for foreground and background use, and background location tracking is not always visible to users when occurring.
  • Android apps are subject to a limited review by Google.

Web Browser Location Tracking

If you need to log time on a desktop computer, applications like PayTickr use web browser location technology. Location is provided by web browser to website with user permission.

Unfortunately. it can not track location perpetually in most cases. Browsers use HTML5-provided geo-location and can not be tracked on very old browsers. As well, user instructions are difficult to provide, different on every browser and change without warning.

Location Tracking Accuracy

Location is tracked by cellular networks, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. The most accurate location tracking is through GPS, but also drains the most battery. On the other hand, cellular towers, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth are less accurate but use less power. Triangulation, the combination of these location tracking methods is often used depending on circumstances.

Protecting Employee Privacy

Apps can track location once or perpetually, and can turn on and off perpetual location tracking based on context. Many apps don’t bother with this though. Developer guides suggest turning off unnecessary location tracking to reduce power usage. Servers can also choose not to store reported locations.

PayTickr uses two-factor privacy protection to avoid tracking location when punched out.

User Tips for Protecting Location Privacy

  • Don’t give websites or apps location permission without valid reason.
  • Don’t assume apps are not tracking just because you closed them/restarted.
  • Remember that iOS gives indication of location tracking on your mobile devices, but Android does not.

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