From Inc. This Morning --Cameron Albert-Deitch, Reporter, Inc.
Three months ago, U.S. employers embarked on a grand experiment in managing millions of Americans working remotely. As a result, one industry in particular has experienced a surge in demand: remote employee monitoring.
According to the companies involved, remote-monitoring software has only become more popular--among both existing and prospective customers--since the Covid-19 pandemic began. In their most Big Brother-ish form, these products let managers literally watch what employees are doing via their webcams and take periodic snapshots of what's on their computer screens. They can also track a user's "active" work time versus idle time, file transfers, incoming and outgoing emails, printing of documents, and many other tasks.
The software products themselves are legal. But how you use them--and what you do with the data--can get you into trouble. Joseph Lazzarotti, a data security and privacy-focused attorney at Morristown, New Jersey-based law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. says employers often don’t realize the sheer quantity of data these programs collect.
If you use these monitoring programs, Lazzarotti recommends, make sure you narrow the scope of your data collection as much as possible. Always think about the worst-case scenario: "If you experience a data breach, you're going to have to tell everybody, 'we collected all this data on you and here's what happened to it,'" he warns.
That’s one concern of many. Read our story to learn the five risks of monitoring remote workers that every boss should know.