How to Monitor Your Employees — While Respecting Their Privacy

Employee monitoring software is an essential resource for protecting intellectual property, protecting confidential data, and ensuring company assets' proper use. The software solutions are mostly used in monitoring employees to collect a wide range of information like accessed files history, email traffics, keystroke, and internet usage. To ensure compliance with data privacy regulations, implementing these technologies must be properly weighed against the potential impact on employee privacy.

Are Employee Surveillance Data Considered Sensitive?

Although standard human resources employment data (names, addresses, etc.) are sensitive, the data captured by employee monitoring software are rarely addressed directly. Monitoring solutions that capture computer usage data may unknowingly track data that belongs to sensitive categories by the GDPR and data privacy regulations.

Biometric Information

Under the target of GDPR-sensitive categories, internet usage data that includes websites visited and search engine queries are likely to contain identifiers in these categories. Suppose the captured data is not sufficiently anonymized. In that case, a negligent breach of this data may lead to legal sanctions under both the GDPR and the CCPA, depending on the employee's location and nationality.

Monitoring Principles for Data Confidentiality

It is essential to ensure the confidentiality and security of the data collected by the employee monitoring software. The principle will help you implement an employee monitoring strategy that meets the business's critical objectives without unnecessarily compromising your employees' confidentiality.

Clearly define monitoring objectives.

For successful monitoring, you should clearly define the objectives of monitoring; it is the proactive method for respecting privacy. An explicit understanding of monitoring objectives is often mandatory. Without clearly defined objectives, a company will not establish that employee supervision serves its legitimate interest while respecting the principle of proportionality.