IS THAT SOLITAIRE ON YOUR SCREEN?!SURVEILLANCE OF YOUR ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS Tania da Silva May 24, 2012
INTRODUCTIONUse of the Internet at work and its advantages:1. Quicker and more efficient communications to optimize productivity;2. Important research and consultation tools;3. Better visibility on the market;4. Better relationships with clients and business partners.
THE LEGAL RISKS1. Defamatory, harassing, offensive or illegal content;2. Intellectual property infringement;3. Damage to the company’s reputation;4. Failure to protect the company’s privileged or confidential information;5. Harassment;6. Loss of time and diminished employee productivity;7. Risks to network security.
DOES THE EMPLOYER HAVE A RIGHT TO MONITOR?WHY?YES, because of:• Its powers of management and control to ensure that the company functions properly;• Its disciplinary powers;• Its powers to create standards and regulations;• Its contractual rights.• What of its property rights?
WHAT ARE THE LIMITS OF THE EMPLOYER’S RIGHTTO MONITOR?The laws that protect privacy:1. Federal laws regarding personal information;2. Quebec’s Charter of human rights and freedoms;3. The Civil Code of Quebec;4. Quebec laws regarding personal information.
EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY• What is an expectation of privacy?• How can the level of employees’ expectation of privacy with respect to the use of computer systems at work be determined?
EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY (continued)• Factors to consider: 1. Are the employees aware of the monitoring? 2. Was the consent with respect to the monitoring? 3. The vulnerable nature of Internet communications; 4. The work environment;
PRACTICAL METHODS FOR REDUCING EMPLOYEES’EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY• Create a written policy regarding the use of the company’s information technology, which, amongst other things, should include a list of activities/uses which are not authorized;• Have the policy signed upon hiring;• Provide reminder of the policy upon use of information technology with warning messages or require a password to access sites which are blocked by the company;• Use progressive disciplinary measures when the policy is not respected;