The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) has published a new assessment of the balance between legitimate interests of employers and the reasonable privacy expectations of employees in which it outlines the risk assessment posed by modern working practices where new technologies enable more systematic processing of employees’ personal data at work which bring challenges to privacy and data protection.
Processing of personal data on the use of online services and location data from a smart device, are much less visible to employees than other more traditional types such as overt CCTV cameras, yet they encapsulate our lives more so.
Working remotely from home is more common-place nowadays, as well as during travel to and from the office, and so monitoring of activities outside of the physical working environment can take place and can potentially include monitoring of the individual in a private context. We often hear stories of the witless employee who phoned in sick and then posted Facebook photos of their seaside day out. But it doesn’t just end there.
More and more, employers have the ability to check on their staff during work time. However, it is important that the defining lines are not blurred, so that the employee’s private life isn’t infringed also, bearing in mind the right to a private and family life under Article 8 ECHR, as well as the storage of that employee’s data beyond that which is necessary, bearing in mind the right of the data subject to ‘be forgotten’ (Vidal-Hall v Google) and the spectre of the GDPR looming large over businesses.
If you need guidance on the best practices in monitoring your people, please contact a member of the HPCLaw team on 0844 800 5932 or email@example.com