The GDPR at Work: How This Affects Employee Monitoring 

1. The GDPR at Work: How This Affects Employee Monitoring

On May 25, the new General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) entered into force, applying to all companies that carry out business in the European market, including foreign companies that process personal data of EU residents and citizens. The new regulations will also apply to the UK market until the final exit of the country from the EU.

However, while many companies, having a direct relationship to the regulation, are still not ready to implement it, some experts find it too intricate to adopt. In this regard, experts at Work Examiner, one of the leading developers of employee monitoring software on the market, have released a checklist for employers, using digital tools for gathering their staff members’ personal data, to help them adapt to the new rules.

Know What Personal Data Is

In fact, not all data collected with the help of employee monitoring software can be classified as personal data. The GDPR applies to any information about a person that allows identifying the person either directly or indirectly. This covers not only names, but also sex, age, place of residence, as well as factors specific for cultural, economic or social identity.

Thus, the term embraces a wide range of data, including, for example, identifiers that a monitoring app may process when capturing employees’ e-mails or instant messages. However, some computer tracking software provides employers only with general statistics, while no personal data processed and stored on the employers’ servers and desktops.

So, analyze which case is yours, and if personal data is really collected by your company, this has to be done in compliance with the GDPR.

Make It Transparent and Accepted

Inform the staff about their personal data collected and get their written permission. Employers need to explain how and for what reason this data is collected, and this should be explained in the simplest and clearest way.

The best way to solve this task is to adopt specific company’s policy on monitoring employees’ activity as a part of measures for establishing and tracking labor discipline at the workplace. Communicate the policy to all the staff members currently working with the company and to each new employee the company is going to hire.

Note that it will be easier to get their written consent and to maintain friendly working environment, when the staff understands that their data collected for legitimate and reasonable purposes – to ensure web security, to prevent data leakage, to improve productivity or to ward off workplace harassment.

Be Ready to Respond Correctly

Employers need to know that having the consent from the employees doesn’t mean handling the data as an employer thinks fit. Any of staff members can withdraw the permission or ask to delete their personal data from company’s storage spaces or to require access to the information stored.

Employers can preempt such situations by sharing at least some of the reports generated by tracking software with the staff – this will convince the team that their data is processed for stated goals and serves to make their work more effective and secure. Obviously, employers should handle the data wisely, professionally and tactfully to avoid employees’ refusal of cooperation.

However, if an employee insists on the withdrawal of permission or on erasing the data, employers have to obey the GDPR.

To learn more about employees’ monitoring software, visit Work Examiner, where you can ask your questions about its compliance with the GDPR.      

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