12 most asked questions on the Indonesian employee monitoring laws

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There are currently no specific laws prohibiting the monitoring of employees in Indonesia. However, surveillance of any kind must be justified by law and necessary to achieve a legitimate purpose. Before any electronic monitoring process, the following key principles for data collection must also be applied: transparency, the legal basis for processing, data minimization, and retention.

1. Is employee monitoring legal in Indonesia?

Yes.Monitoring of employees is legally justified as long as companies have legitimate business interests to protect. That said, there are limitations. Indonesian laws require the written consent of employees before they are monitored. Article 15 Paragraph 2 of Reg. 82 provides that, before its implementation, the electronic system provider must get written notification from the owner of the personal data (employee) even if it is on a company-owned device.

2. Is it legal to monitor the company’s computers?

Yes. Collective Labour Agreements (negotiation between regulated labor unions and employers), and Company Regulations (official agreement given by the ‘’MOMT’’) permit employers to monitor computers and other equipment provided to their employees if employees are made aware of and give consent to be monitored, specifically if it pertains to personal data (The EIT law prohibits personal data breaches). It is against the law to monitor employees during working hours without their consent.

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3. Is it legal to monitor employee internet and social media activities?

Yes. In Indonesia, It is illegal for anyone to divulge information belonging to any employer. Companies generally have the right to prevent employees from using the Internet for anything but work-related use as long as it is regulated by Collective Labour Agreements (CLA) or Company Regulations (CR). Employers still need to consider employees’ personal lives when monitoring social media activities and the internet use. Monitoring without consent is a violation of Law no. 11 OF 2008 on electronic information and transaction (EIT law ), which strictly requires consent from the individual whose private information is being processed. It is also advisable that companies provide policies on the use of the Internet and social media.

4. Is it legal to monitor screen contents and keystrokes?

Yes. In Indonesia, employers have the right to monitor and analyze screen contents as well as keystrokes on company property. However, employees reserve the right to consent to such monitoring, as they have a right to personal privacy.

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5. Is it legal to monitor email content?

Yes. Company email systems are company-owned property. Employees should be mindful of accessing their personal emails from the office computer as they can be monitored. Under Indonesia’s constitution, privacy and personal information should not be accessed without consent. The company must clearly inform its employees clearly of the monitoring of the emails. Also, clear policies regarding the use of corporate emails for professional use should be provided.

6. Is it legal to monitor or record phone conversations?

Yes, Article 41 and 42 of Law No. 36 of 1999, also known as the “Telecommunication Law,” allow providers to record the use of telecommunications and to record data per the laws and regulations. That said, providers of telecommunications must obtain a written request from the Attorney General and/or the Chief of the Indonesian Police for specific criminal acts ( in cases of criminal activities)
Also, written requests for information must include what has been recorded, the recording period, and the time period for reporting the results.

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7. Is it legal to use video monitoring systems in the workplace?

Yes. The following precautions should be taken when installing a video monitoring system: :

  • Notifying employees that their work environment is being monitored through a video system.
  • Explaining the purpose of the monitoring to the employees.
  • Installing cameras only in work areas, not in environments that could invade privacy (e.g. restrooms, changingrooms, bathrooms).
  • Avoiding the use of the video system for discriminatory purposes. i.e., to monitor only one sector of the company or a specific employee.
  • Taking appropriate measures to store monitored.
  • Ensuring who has access to the monitored data does not share information with third parties.

8. Is it legal to monitor private messages and email content?

Yes. If employees access private messages and personal emails on a company-owned device, their employer may monitor the use, not the content, and only during working hours. It is also important for employers to implement clear policies for employees to be informed of this and obtain their consent. Also, employees should be informed that their email may be accessed while they are away.

9. Is it legal to monitor employees’ personal devices?

Yes. It is important to note that if work activities are performed on a personal device, the employee must account for the time spent on work activities during work hours. Employers have the right to monitor such devices during working hours only. While this is true, the Data Protection Regulation provides that all electronic system operators(such as employers) must guarantee that written consent is acquired. The Data Protection Regulation also states that the data owner has the right to have their personal data removed whenever they want. However, the deletion request must be made following the laws and regulations in force.

10. Is it legal to monitor employees’ personal computers?

Yes, The answer is similar to the one given above. If an employee works on a personal computer, their employers can monitor such devices to protect business information. However, the monitoring should not disrupt or capture any personal data on the employee. Separating personal and work information is an effective measure to employ. In addition to having work/monitoring policies developed, employers should make sure to disseminate these policies to their employees.

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11. Is it required to inform employees of the monitoring?

Yes. As stated in most of this article, The Indonesian constitution requires employees to be properly informed and consent in writing before being monitored. Employers are not allowed to monitor their devices without employees’ consent, even if they are company-owned. It is also crucial that employees understand how and why these monitoring devices are being used.
If employees do not give their consent, they should not be monitored.

12. Employee monitoring policy – mandatory or not?

Yes. Employee monitoring policies, should adhere to international human rights laws and standards, including the principles of transparency, legality, proportionality, and necessity. This can be achieved by creating and distributing comprehensive company policies, handbooks, and consent forms to ensure that employees know the rules and guidelines regarding monitoring and surveillance. Policies should be easy to access and understand.

Our monitoring experts have developed ready-to-use policies, announcement samples, and employee monitoring handbooks for direct use or a sample to create future employee monitoring policies. Request a copy now. It’s free!

Are there Indonesian laws that protect employee workplace privacy?

There are no constitutional laws that explicitly mention workplace privacy. That said, there are so many laws relating to data privacy in Indonesia.

  • The Data Protection Regulation provides more detailed specifications on the use of personal data in electronic systems in every surveillance process, i.e., acquiring, collecting, processing, analyzing, storing, displaying, announcing, transmitting, disseminating, and/or providing access to, and/or deleting personal data.
  • Law No. 11 of 2008 regarding Electronic Information and Transactions, as amended by Law No. 19 of 2016 (“Electronic Information Law”).
  • Regulation No. 71 of 2019 regarding the Implementation of Electronic Systems and Transactions (“GR 71”).
  • Minister of Communication and Informatics Regulation No. 20 of 2016 regarding the Protection of Personal Data (“MOCI Reg. 20”).
  • The last two are collectively called the PDP regulations

According to the EIT Law and Government Regulations, employees are protected by law when they are not informed about the monitoring in the workspace, did not give their consent, and/or the use of such data is not indicated in employment contracts, workplace policies, or handbooks.

In Indonesia, the sanctions for data privacy breaches are found under the relevant legislation and are essentially fines. Imprisonment may be imposed in severe instances, such as in the event of intentional infringement.
The EIT Law provides criminal penalties ranging from; Rp. 600,000,000 fine to Rp. 800,000,000 and/or 6 to 8 years imprisonment for unlawful access; Rp. 800,000,000 fine and/ or 10 years imprisonment for interception/wiretapping of transmission; Rp. 2,000,000,000 to Rp. 5,000,000,000 and/or 8 to 10 years imprisonment for alteration, addition, reduction, transmission, tampering, deletion, moving, hiding Electronic Information and/or Electronic Records.
Bottom line, monitoring should be implemented in such a way that maintains the trust and security of the workforce.

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Is there professional lawyers’ advice on monitoring?

Lawyers agree while there is no specific legal restriction on employee monitoring, the employer should express the right to do so in the company regulation. They also recommend that clear and detailed monitoring policies be put in place. Employees should be explicitly notified and give written consent before monitoring tools are implemented. Separate data privacy policies may also be put in place. The policies should include the following:

  • The definition of private or personal data (typically, various types of information relating to the employee and the employee’s dependents)
  • Ensuring the appropriate, lawful use and disclosure of personal data.
  • Provisions of data and disaster recovery centers.
  • The employee’s consent to the employer accessing, collecting, using, transferring, or otherwise processing the employee’s personal data
  • The employee’s right to access his or her own personal data (but not others)
  • The employee’s obligation to notify the employer of any changes or updates to their personal data.

What is the bottom line?

Employers need to balance the need to safeguard business interests and their employees’ privacy expectations when implementing employee monitoring software. To perform the monitoring process on legitimate grounds, transparency and prior notification should be considered.

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Disclaimer
The information provided in this article is for general understanding only and not to be used as legal advice. To receive professional legal advice, please consult your lawyer.

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