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 highly detailed written company policy outlining the various technological surveillance methods give employers a fighting chance in court.

Protecting Your Company

Some surveillance in the workplace is acceptable but More Invasive = More Problems for the company.  Don’t be vague and secretive. That is, a detailed and obvious company policy that sets privacy expectations low is your best bet when protecting your company.

Via VentureBeat



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