Employee surveillance is an excellent and available method by which companies can protect against fraud. Monitoring of company-supplied hardware, software and access is perfectly legal and arguably compelling in Canada. Many still act under the mistaken belief that when it comes to personal communications such as e-mail and social media forums such as Facebook and Twitter, anything intended as private and personal is protected.
In truth, such privacy is very limited. The legal rubric underlying such an assumption is “reasonable expectation of privacy”, an expression borrowed for global adaptation from the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution, and protected in the Canadian Charter. Historically, personal communications and the privacy protections afforded them were sacrosanct. In addition to the medium of ‘snail mail’ being confidential in its own right—the sealed envelope—most jurisdictions honoured the British-based “Royal Mail Rule” premised upon the opening of personal mail as verboten.
Continue Reading Anti-fraud monitoring: The employer’s right of surveillance