Is it legal for a company to secretly videotape its employees?

Let me be specific here:

About two months ago the company installed a pretty sophisticated security system that includes cameras all over the building. It was supposed to be for our protection as there are many hours (especially over the holidays) where one person may be entirely alone. Its nice to be able to tell at a glance (and the employees are privy to the TVs that see what the cameras do) if someone who isn’t supposed to be, is in the parking lot or the building.

Then today at the staff meeting we where informed that there are “cameras we don’t know about”. Wow. Thats nice. I guess the whole “for your protection” thing was bunk. Its Big Brother! Great moral booster there, as now all of us will be looking over our shoulders all the damned time.

So with that as background, heres my question: Is this legal? Can they install “top secret” cameras here to spy on us?

My guess is that the company is not breaking any laws, but I just want to make sure before I cave to this garbage.

Freakin 1984.

You don’t have any real right to privacy when you’re on your company’s property, except for common-sense things like bathrooms. It’s their building, and you are there at their convenience, and they can tape whatever they want.

If NothingMan received an office memo implying it was for their protection then perhaps he has something to take to the labour board.


Why would hidden cameras automatically be for nefarious purposes (bathrooms aside)? Besides providing protection for the employees, they also provide security for the company. If I were in charge, I wouldn’t tell where all the cameras are, in fear of an in-the-know employee divulging this info to spies, burglars, etc.

i think this comes down to people don’t like people looking over other peoples shoulders.

if there is not not already a law you should write your congress people. enough do and there will be a law. maybe get a petition against it going to get your city or state to pass a law banning them?

They don’t seem to be “secretly” taping you. They told you there are cameras you don’t know about. That is telling you, you can be taped.

With camera phones and the like privicy is a thing of the past. In the locker rooms you see all sorts of people with camera cell phones. What they’re doing with them I don’t know…

It is hard to monitor all activites just because of the vast amount of tape to review. It usually only comes up if someone complains then they can look back.
If you have a weirdo emplyoee that wants to get kicks it would probably be easier to set it up yourself.

Companies can do pretty much whatever they want on their property, as long as it doesn’t result in a common law tort like invasion of privacy. A government employer has a tougher row to hoe in that the government can’t conduct searchs including searching an employee. But there has to be a “reasonable expectation of privacy” before there can be a violation.

Unfortunately, much of the “security” measures are put there to prevent activities that might be held against the employer. For example, if one employee sexually harasses another, the company can be held liable. But the company can also be held liable for wrongful termination if they fire someone for sexual harrassment without enough evidence. Therefore the company installs cameras to get evidence of any such activities and then they can take the appropriate action.

So as long as we continue to ask the legal system to right any possible wrong against us, we end up losing more and more of our privacy to those we ask to protect us.

What was that quote again? “Those who trade liberty for security end up with neither!”

Its a lot like email and internet…the company owns those and controls them just the like cameras. Legally they are well within their rights. Morally is another question completely…

Those who sacrafice essential freedoms for temporary security will have neither.