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Gavin English Managing Director, IMC Worldwide

Gavin English is managing director of IMC Worldwide, a multi-disciplinary business providing consultancy services to governments, donor organisations, disaster relief agencies and private sector corporations in developing and transitional countries. Gavin has over 25 years’ experience in engineering, planning and management across the world. He is a board director of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), London and the current Chairman of the ACE International Business Group where he advises on the issues and challenges facing the engineering industry working in international markets.

No one would doubt that traveller tracking is an essential element of any managed travel programme, but with the advent of smartphone apps, employers can follow almost every movement. A TMC and a traveller debate whether this technology will lead to a Big Brother society where privacy doesn’t exist


As a company, my colleagues and I are often travelling to developing countries where security, safety and health risks can be high. Our travel management company takes particular

Simon McLean Managing Director, Click Travel

Simon McLean is the managing director and co-founder of Click Travel, a TMC heavily oriented around providing online solutions. As well as providing the vision for the company, he remains intricately involved with Click Travel’s software development team.

care in the pre-trip planning, the monitoring of travel alerts and the acceptable risk levels our travellers may face. Before travelling every traveller is required to complete a travel clearance form which is then signed by a business director. The travel clearance form provides relevant

country information and details the risk level and specific dangers associated with the destination. Travellers are requested to confirm that they have read and understood the information, have the required innoculations, provided any relevant personal medical information and their next of kin contact information. They also have to confirm that they will follow the security, safety and health procedures they are provided. We rely heavily on our travel management company to keep us and our travellers abreast of potentially dangerous situations or developments when we are travelling on business. And it is vital that the individual needs of the traveller are taken into account – young or more vulnerable travellers, for example, need special treatment and arrangements, as do travellers who are visiting high risk destinations. In these situations tracking the traveller is of

danger. In these situations our travel management company is aware of our travel arrangements and can contact us in an emergency. The idea of a 'big brother' society, the rise of social media, mobile tracking and the relatively new indoor positioning systems, developed by the likes of Google are big news at the moment. But do we really need to follow every movement? What is the business benefit? As a company, duty of care

“The idea of a 'big

brother' society, the rise of social media, mobile tracking and the relatively new indoor positioning

systems are big news at the moment. But do we really need to follow every movement?”

is of paramount importance, but as travellers we also have to take responsibility and embrace a duty of loyalty by following travel policy. Travel policies and pro-

cedures are there to mitigate risk, and to ensure all travel is tracked for example. Go outside your dedicated travel booking channels and you take the risk of not being identified in an emergency. As an organisation we

currently don’t track travellers’ mobile phones. For particularly high risk countries I see this as

paramount importance and, personally, I feel the more high-risk the travelling, the more that tracking is required and, generally, it is welcomed by our employees. In contrast I would not see the need to introduce

traveller tracking for domestic, European or low risk destinations where there is no real obvious

a welcome addition to our safety procedures. However, if we were to introduce this type of tracking I would want to ask the consent of the traveller. Social media has made it more socially acceptable to track movements through networking sites such as Facebook. The big difference here, however, is that the user is in control and their privacy is not being invaded. In summary, I think it very much depends on the

type and destination of your travel. The 'big brother' approach is a welcome security feature when travelling in high risk countries. And


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