Tag archives: privacy rights

Covert monitoring in the workplace – impact on an employee’s privacy

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has held that Spanish shop workers’ right to privacy under Article 8(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights was not violated when their employer obtained evidence of theft from covert CCTV footage of the employees.

The case involved five employees who worked as cashiers at a supermarket chain.  The employer noticed stock discrepancies and as part of the investigation installed CCTV cameras, both visibly within the store and hidden cameras at the checkouts.  Although customers and staff were aware that CCTV cameras operated, the employees were not aware … Continue Reading

On the Job + On the Grid: Monitoring Employees

There are many varied and valid reasons as to why employers incorporate monitoring in the workplace.  Whether it is the more widespread video surveillance cameras installed in many convenience stores or the seemingly nefarious GPS tracking in employees’ phones, employers can effectively monitor their workplaces without running afoul of their privacy obligations.

With the widespread use of new and affordable technology, the BC Information and Privacy Commissioner has published new guidance on this topic.

BC’s Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”) sets out how private organizations can collect, use, and disclose personal information, including that of its employees. While … Continue Reading

Case Brief: On an employee’s right to withhold personal information from her union

In February, the Supreme Court released reasons in Bernard v. Canada (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 13, a case involving a CRA employee who objected to providing her home contact information to the union that was required to represent her despite her non-member status.

The union had sought the contact information to fulfill its responsibilities and was eventually successful in obtaining a PSLR Board order granting it access. On judicial review, the Federal Court of Appeal held that the Board had not breached the employee’s Charter and privacy rights by ordering disclosure against her wishes.

A majority of the Supreme Court … Continue Reading

Case Brief: On the interplay between privacy rights and Charter freedoms

On November 15, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada released reasons in Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401, 2013 SCC 62. The case addressed the union’s right to collect and use videotaped and still images of individuals who had crossed a picket line during a lawful strike.

An adjudicator had initially ordered the union to stop collecting and using the recordings in response to privacy complaints. The adjudicator’s order was overturned in a Queen’s Bench decision that was subsequently affirmed on appeal. The Court of Appeal held that the significant stifling … Continue Reading

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