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Big law department will be watching you, external counsel, through your cell phone usage

Cell phone calls by lawyers and their locations may some day automatically record data to time tracking systems. That prospect becomes clear from a disturbing item in the Lond. Rev. of Books, Vol. 30, Aug. 14, 2008 at 24.

Here is an illustration. If the partner you rely on has a late-model iPhone you can locate the partner as a bright green dot on a map. The location information is available to anyone with the required resources to make use of it. Moreover, since the origin, destination, time and duration of cell phone calls are all logged, it will be technically possible for a law department to compile data on all calls by timekeepers at law firms who work on its projects. Eventually, e-billing vendors will collate cell phone usage and location to time entries on invoices, or bypass them altogether and collect them independently (See my post of May 19, 2006: disparages real-time billing information.).