Argentine Employee Monitoring Laws: What Are Employers Allowed and not Allowed Doing in the Workplace?
Q: Do employers have the right to monitor employees’ computers, such as desktops, laptops, servers and their Internet activities?
A: Yes, employers have this right.
In general it is legal to monitor employees’ computers, laptops, cell phones and any other electronic devices given by employer (not their personal) in the workplace, but only with employees’ awareness.
«Generally, monitoring is permitted in a labor context if the employee has knowledge of the monitoring and the email account is provided by the employer (i.e., the employee is using a company email, not a personal email, account)…
Q: Do employers have the right to monitor keystrokes, email’s content, and screens?
A: Yes, employers have this right, but again, only in case of employees’ awareness.
Employers have the right to monitor emails, keystrokes, screens content on electronic devices provided by the company (not personal) only in case of employees’ awareness (see above):
According to the Personal Data Protection Act, «… if the employer does not comply with the Act when monitoring employees’ emails and Internet use, liability will arise. The lack of written or verbal instructions related to the use of the Internet at work may give rise to an expectation of privacy on the part of the employee».
Q: How employees are protected in the situation of monitoring?
A: There is The Personal Data Protection Act that provides employees with the right to personal privacy.
There is legislation in Argentina, according to which employers have the right to keep track on company’s property, but not employees’ personal devices; based on this legislation – every employee has the right to personal privacy.
« Although no case has addressed the applicability of the Personal Data Protection Act (Act) to the monitoring of employee email and Internet use, there are cases which suggest that the monitoring of email and Internet use may be considered the processing of personal data under the Act and therefore regulated by the Act. Accordingly, if the employer does not comply with the Act when monitoring employees’ emails and Internet use, liability will arise.
Private correspondence, however, should generally not be monitored in the absence of special circumstances.» (‘Email and Internet Monitoring/Video and Physical Surveillance’ by Morrison & Foerster LLP, ‘GLOBAL EMPLOYEE PRIVACY AND DATA SECURITY LAW’).
Q: What professional lawyers suggest?
A: They suggest informing employees about the monitoring, creating clear monitoring policies, and not to monitor employees’ personal electronic devices.
Professional lawyers suggest remembering your business reasons and goals while implementing the monitoring in the workplace. They recommend to have clear monitoring policies and to provide employees with notification about upcoming monitoring (any monitoring without proper notification can’t be implemented). Also lawyers caution the employers – never to monitor employees’ personal computers, telephones, tablets, emails etc. in order not to give rise to a violation of privacy on the part of the employee.
Q: How to choose proper monitoring software?
A: Professional lawyers advice to implement monitoring in the workplace with performance tracking purposes instead of violation of employees’ personal privacy.
It is very important to remember the reasons of employees’ monitoring. So then not to use unneeded information such as: print screens, personal correspondence or any other private details, but still keep employees’ performance and level of productivity under control.
WorkTime – Respectful Employee Performance Monitoring –www.worktime.com
This article provides general information only. This information is for general understanding only and not to be used as legal advice. To receive professional legal advice, please consult your lawyer.