[plug] legality of internet traffic monitoring

David Lloyd lloy0076 at adam.com.au
Sun Jan 13 10:03:33 WST 2008



> The employees are aware that we are monitoring when and what website they 
> visit and complain that this is a violation of the privacy laws. The also 
> strongly object me blocking certain sites. Are they right? 

If the monitoring is for legitimate work purposes (eg. ensuring work 
policies such as Internet Usage are met) and the reporting of this data 
is treated with an appropriate level of privacy control, I don't see any 

So, for example, if you were to use the data to build a case that 
certain employees or a class of employees were abusing their Internet 
usage, it would be a legitimate and fair use; especially if the 
employees' have signed something stating this.

As others have stated before, I've seen no cases where "normal" 
monitoring and/or blocking of traffic has been won in the employees' favour.

To put my case another way, I'd say the employer has a duty to keep the 
data private, and only allow fair, employment related usage of it -- so 
you can't sell it to Channel 9's fictitious "What's the Funniest Places 
Your Employees Visit at Work" show [and even then you might be allowed 
to but this doesn't seem to be the reason you're gathering it] -- then 
the employees are just being overly concerned or more likely, they have 
something to hide.

In other words, the only case I see that they might be able to win is 
"That my employer gathered this information and then used it in a way 
not related to my employment causing me humiliation." (or some such 
thing and in better, more esoteric legal mumbo-jumbo).


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