More and more people are working from home, working on personal devices, and sometimes using work devices for personal reasons, and as a result, their work and personal lives are becoming more entwined. But there is a basic business need for employers to be able to monitor what is happening under the keylogger employee management system.
The largest block of countries with similar rules on monitoring is the EU. Under the GDPR, employees have an expectation of privacy that would be at odds with extensive monitoring in the workplace. The transparency principle in the GDPR requires that employers must tell their employees if they are going to be monitored and must do so beforehand, but specific consent is not required – although it is worth noting that in some countries, such as Austria, monitoring is generally only possible with the agreement of the works council.
Monitoring should be based on the legitimate interests of the employer, as weighed against the rights and freedoms of employees in a ‘balancing test’. As it turns out, many other places also have rules that are reasonably similar to this. In Argentina, for example, if employers want to monitor emails, they must have a proper policy in place and employees must be notified beforehand that they have no expectation of privacy whilst using the employers’ devices for private purposes. In Brazil, the labor courts have long accepted the employer’s right to monitor emails and internet use, although Brazil’s new law may lead the courts to impose new conditions. In Hong Kong, employees have no expectation of privacy when using company equipment and software, and the keylogger employee management system is largely accepted by employees.
In Canada, employees retain some expectation of privacy in the workplace and whilst using employer devices. But their privacy rights are not absolute as they can be balanced against the employer’s legitimate business interests. In the US, the picture is more complicated, and employers sometimes end up in court trying to defend monitoring by trying to show that the employee had no reasonable expectation of privacy. The advice our lawyers give employers is to have their employees acknowledge in writing, in advance, that they understand their communications will be monitored. It is also preferential to have clear policies, to head off any expectation of privacy.
Most legal regimes stop short of requiring employee consent to monitoring but in China, the rules are that if an employer wishes to monitor employees it needs to disclose this and obtain their consent in advance. It must also let the employee know the reasons for the monitoring and the scope of it. Information collected can only be for employment-related purposes and needs to be kept securely. In Japan, it is good practice to notify employees in advance about monitoring, but the keylogger employee management system seems to be socially accepted within the workplace and there is little pushback at the moment. Most of the new technological advancements we are seeing consist of different ways to monitor employees, but some cases before the courts are also about how employees use social media, and whether posts that are harmful to the employer can be sanctioned.