We’re doing lots of work with Automated Vehicle Location these days, and I’m fascinated by the impact of better information about the location of people and things.

The benefits of tracking non-human assets are fairly obvious, but at first the notion of tracking people didn’t sit well with me (it made me think of a radio-collared moose). However, I’ve come to view it as a positive technology provided it is being implemented in good faith as part of the evolution of business systems designed to ensure parties are following the terms of their agreements (and the law).

Here’s an excerpt from a fairly recent case in New York:

"In a precedent-setting case, administrative trial judge Tynia Richard recommended the firing of John Halpin, a veteran supervisor of carpenters, for cutting out before the end of his shift on as many as 83 occasions between March 2 and Aug. 9, 2006. The evidence against Halpin, whose base pay is $300 a day, included time cards that suspiciously appeared stamped on the same machine, even though his duties placed him in different locations each day.

But there was a clincher: data gathered through the GPS system on Halpin's cellphone..."

You can read the whole story here.