With the increase in remote working and developments in technology, opportunities to monitor workers have increased exponentially. In addition to undertaking background checks, monitoring can include tracking location on devices, recording calls, internet usage, counting keystrokes, taking screenshots, webcam footage or audio recordings, or using specialist monitoring software to track activity. Importantly, the term “worker” means anyone who performs work for an organisation (not just employees).
ICO research reveals that almost one in five (19%) of people surveyed believe that they have been monitored by an employer, over two-thirds (70%) would find monitoring in the workplace intrusive and fewer than one in five (19%) would feel comfortable taking a new job if they knew that their employer would be monitoring them.
The ICO urges organisations to consider both their legal obligations and their workers’ rights before they implement any monitoring in the workplace.
If you are considering monitoring your workforce, you must take steps which include:
For advice on how to meet the above, or for more information on this or other privacy in the workplace issues please contact our Data Privacy Team.
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