Is covert surveillance in the workplace allowed?

The answer is that it could violate Article 8 of the ECHR Right to Privacy.

In a recent Spanish case in the European Court of Human Rights which considered the use of covert cameras recording staff for evidence of suspected thefts. Staff were told about some cameras but there were additional ones that were placed covertly. As a result several employees were dismissed based on evidence obtained from the covert cameras.

A Spanish court found the cameras were justified, appropriate, necessary and proportionate, however, the ECHR disagreed on appeal and said this was a breach of privacy. Surveillance is an intrusion into private life and a fair balance of the right to privacy against the employers rights had not been met.

If you do have covert surveillance in your workplace then we would advise our clients to contact us for specific advice on the uses of that as in some circumstances use of this may be acceptable.


Authors: Stephanie Ball

Published: 23 Jan 2018


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