This past Friday, NYC taxi drivers were dealt a huge blow as a federal judge declined their request to have the installation of GPS units & credit card machines blocked. The drivers continue to feel that the city overstepped its boundaries by mandating the installation of both devices.
U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman is responsible for the huge blow that will most likely lead to another strike. According to Judge Berman, such technology which helps improve service for passengers outweighs the privacy rights of drivers. He wants to see both sides to negotiate & be prepared for the next hearing which is scheduled for October 10th.
The city was obviously happy with Judge Berman’s decision as the head of NYC’s law office Michael Cardozo had this to say: “satisfying legal victory — and a victory for all taxi passengers who will enjoy the benefits of these service improvements.” Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Matthew W. Daus chimed in about the ruling saying: “allows us to continue to advance and progress without distraction or delay.” The decision did not seem surprising considering Judge Berman was skeptical about the taxi drivers’ argument saying “It’s not a Mona Lisa painting. It’s a car.”
I have to question the attitude of Judge Berman & many others who are siding with the city on this issue. It is one thing to feel the need to have credit card & GPS units installed. It is a totally different ball game to walk around with the attitude that the privacy of your employees does not matter. Such thinking can never be considered a good thing in a country that is supposedly the land of the free. I guess to some privacy was not part of the deal!