New rules to ban secret spying on staff

New rules to ban secret spying on staff
Photo: DPA
The government is planning to ban employers from secretly filming members of staff at work, while at the same allowing them to install more visible surveillance cameras, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

The controversial practice of secretly filming staff with hidden cameras could soon be banned under government proposals due to be voted on by the end of the month, wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Saturday.

“Secret spying on employees cannot be allowed in this country any more,” data protection expert and politician Michael Frieser of the Conservative CDU party told the paper. If employers want to keep an eye on their staff, they will have to install cameras for all to see.

The news comes following a series of scandals over major German companies being caught spying on their employees in secret – including the partially state-owned Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom.

Using hidden cameras against staff has always been illegal, said Frieser, but in light of the recent scandals new rules are needed to clarify exactly what is and what is not allowed.

At the same time, the proposals have come under fire from trade unions because they will also relax some existing rules – allowing companies more leeway when it comes to installing permanent visible CCTV systems to watch workers for example.

The Local/jlb

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