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Bosses who put a ‘digital leash’ to remote employees are likely to cross the line of privacy

With so many telecommunication organizations operating during the pandemic, directors and managers end up in trouble with teams fleeing work. Some have gone a long way to help, but they may have gone a long way in using devices such as AI and algorithms to track employees and their work during the day, or facial recognition that could confirm that someone is at work. A recent report by the Institute for the Future of Work, a British research and development team, said algorithm systems widely used to monitor the performance of warehouse workers or delivery riders had spread to many industries.

What is a digital leash?

There is growth among employees who have found that they are now expected to be “called” to their employers 24/7. Many employers want their employees – at least those who have been exempted – to turn on their cell phones and be ready for work day or night. Even a day off, or on the weekend, or while you are on vacation. This is like putting a Digital Leash on employees.


According to Brian Honan, a cyber security consultant and former adviser to Europol, introducing AI-enabled task tracking tools such as face monitoring or key monitoring has many risks for companies. “Companies have a responsibility to take care of protecting their business and have a legitimate interest in ensuring that the needs of the business are taken care of, but should be balanced in terms of human rights in the workplace,” said Honan.

 You suspect that many tools such as keystroke monitoring or desktop scanning may be illegal under EU GDPR rules. “If you think with all the information that these tools are likely to be collected as people work,” he said.


The GDPR provides a good framework for employers to consider when considering any personnel management technology, but strict rules governing the work environment of hybrid age and remote operation are required. Prospect is developing a “copyright” law in the U.K., which sets out a clear line of communication between the employee and his or her supervisor. Such regulations are necessary to protect employees from technological divisions. The right to violate the law has been transferred to France and Ireland.

What can employees do?

Most employees can carry two telephones, one for the job and one for personal life. That helps solve some of the privacy issues. Also, make sure you are not using your company’s Internet connection or an internal network with your device.  If a company requires you to use your devices to do corporate business, get a second set of the cheapest devices on purpose and use them for business purposes only.

However, there is nothing you can do about your employer’s requirement to respond and respond 24/7. The employer makes the employment rules –Work is “will”. You can stop if you can’t negotiate better conditions. Or you can have a written contract of employment that guarantees certain terms of privacy.

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