At the Intersection of Technology, Law, and Business
December 23, 2016 - Regulatory, Internet of Things

The Unblinking Eye: Employee Monitoring in the IoT Era

The Unblinking Eye: Employee Monitoring in the IoT Era

Privacy concerns raised by the Internet of Things (IoT) have focused mostly on the consumer, whose personal data is captured in a growing list of places.  Less attention has been paid to the privacy of employees interacting with increasingly prevalent IoT in the workplace.

Companies investing in Industrial IoT (IIoT) technologies should therefore be aware of potential legal-privacy risks. Even if it’s not their primary function, many IIoT applications could be used to monitor employees in unintended ways. Use of such data, if not obtained properly, could damage a company’s reputation or place it in a defensive position in litigation.

While it is inevitable that employers will seek to use IoT data to better manage their employees, inventory, and equipment, they will need to guard against inappropriate or unlawful uses of this data.

Unfortunately, a myth persists that an employee’s privacy rights end the moment he or she walks through an employer’s door. To reduce the risk of employee claims and reputational harm, companies should keep a few best practices in mind:

  • Give proper notice to employees;
  • Be thoughtful about what you collect and collect only what you need; and
  • Be thoughtful about how long you maintain the data,

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