A reader writes VentureBeat asking if it’s okay to install surveillance cameras to watch employees after a rash of trade secret thefts in the office.

The answer?

Proceed with caution.

4 Kinds of Surveillance

There are generally four kinds of employee related surveillance explains Curtis Smolar, a lawyer representing small businesses and start-ups:

  1. Work Related Data:  Usually acceptable and generally non-invasive, this monitoring type relates to on-the-job employee performance.
  2. Computer Data:  Potentially the most invasive type of monitoring, protect yoruself by making sure that your employee handbook states that this data is not private.
  3. Video Monitoring:  Coinsidered very invasive by employees and often rife with gray areas, notification of a company policy might prove acceptable.
  4. Audio Recording:  Possibly illegal in many states, a broad and