I was wondering if somebody could help me on this...
I am the IT Manager for a small company and I am having problems with an employee and privacy on his computer. I don't read his emails or monitor his work and the company is pretty lax about emails and the internet. Now this employee claims that any intrusion onto his computer is an invasion of privacy and against the law. He has taken some labour law/employee rights courses through the company, and I would like to know if he is correct.
I did some searching and came up with this excerpt from http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs7-work.htm
If you have a computer terminal at your job, it may be your employer's window into your workspace. There are several types of computer monitoring.
Employers can use computer software that enables them to see what is on the screen or stored in the employees' computer terminals and hard disks. Employers can monitor Internet usage such as web-surfing and electronic mail.
People involved in intensive word-processing and data entry jobs may be subject to keystroke monitoring. Such systems tells the manager how many keystrokes per hour each employee is performing. It also may inform employees if they are above or below the standard number of keystrokes expected. Keystroke monitoring has been linked with health problems including stress disabilities and physical problems like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Another computer monitoring technique allows employers to keep track of the amount of time an employee spends away from the computer or idle time at the terminal.
Is my employer allowed to see what is on my terminal while I am working?
Generally, yes. Since the employer owns the computer network and the terminals, he or she is free to use them to monitor employees.
This article is written for the US, I am in Canada and am calling on the experts to help me clear up this issue.