Do Companies in the US Need To Disclose That They Track a Computer?

The pandemic has forced many companies to switch to remote work setups, but this doesn’t change the fact that some employers still need to monitor and access their employees’ computers and devices to keep track of work performance and productivity levels.

Companies don’t need to disclose that they track a computer unless they’re from  Connecticut, Delaware, Texas, and New York. These four states in the United States have laws requiring businesses to inform employees about the use of monitoring software in advance.

This article will explore the legalities of employee monitoring in the U.S. and recommend some of the best employee monitoring software.

Employee Monitoring Is Legal in the U.S.

In the U.S., employee monitoring is completely lawful. The monitoring regulations in the U.S. provide businesses the freedom to keep an eye on what their workers are doing on company-issued devices. However, employee monitoring must be supported by legitimate business reasons.

Employers are not legally required under federal law to inform their employees that they are being monitored. Only four U.S. states mandate it.

Employers are required by Connecticut General Statute 31-48d and Delaware Del. 6 Code 19-7-705 to provide advance notice to their staff before using any monitoring software. The Texas and New York Data Protection Acts, which are more recent, also apply.

Other states allow companies to monitor employees without their knowledge, and most privacy laws offer them leeway in deciding how far they can go with monitoring software.

 

Are Employers Allowed To Track Personal Computers?

Employers may have the freedom to track company-issued devices, but what about personal computers? The simple answer is yes, but with a few caveats.

If you’re an employee who wants to use their own device for work-related reasons, then your employer has the right to track it as long as they have set policies in place to protect employee privacy rights.

For example, suppose an employee brings their own laptop to work and connects it to the company’s Wi-Fi. The company would then be allowed to track this laptop while connected to the company network. The same rule can apply to devices used in a work-from-home setup. If an employer agrees that the employee can use their own device for work, then the employer may have the right to track that device.

BYOD Policies

One of the best ways for employers to track their employees’ devices is to use a bring-your-own-device policy. These agreements allow employees to bring their personal laptops, smartphones, and other devices to work. However, they have to consent to letting their employer track their data.

Here’s what you should know before using a BYOD agreement at your workplace:

  • All employees have to agree to the policy (and they have the right to decline it).
  • The agreement form has to explain all of the data that will be collected.
  • Straying from the agreement to collect additional information is a workplace violation.
  • You have to be clear about the timeframe that you’ll be tracking the employee’s data (during work hours, around the clock, etc.).

It’s best to let potential employees know that you encourage BYOD practices before hiring them. This allows them to opt out of the onboarding process before you have to add them to your company’s employment system.

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act

A federal law known as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) safeguards companies’ rights to monitor their employees. This act has established the legal framework for employee tracking and control procedures since 1986.

The Stored Communications Act (SCA), which is its Title II, affirms the employer’s right to review documents, files, and other data created by employees during work hours. However, it must be supported by valid business reasons.

An employer is allowed by the ECPA to track all usage of a company-owned computer. For example, remote workers can still have their data tracked by their employer if they agree to ECPA standards.

Why Employers Should Use An Employee Tracking Software

The average employee only puts in roughly three hours per day of productive work. Most employees spend the remaining hours on social media, chit-chatting with coworkers, and doing other unproductive activities.

To ensure accountability, gain insight into how employees are using their time, and generally increase employee productivity, many companies are now using employee monitoring software.

 

What Is the Best Tracking Software?

There are many types of employee monitoring software on the market right now, but choosing the best one can take a lot of work.

When looking for Employee Monitoring Software, you’ll want to ensure it has all these necessary features:

  • You should be able to monitor a live feed of your employees’ screens. Some monitoring programs allow you to see everything on the worker’s screen as it happens. You can view every message, website, and program they open in real-time.
  • Automated screenshots can provide historical employee data. If you don’t want to watch the screen in real-time, you can set your software to take screenshots at timed intervals or whenever they access a new website. You can see all of the info on the page as it changes, which is when it counts the most.
  • Choose a program that runs unnoticed. The employee won’t be notified by the startup, but it’ll activate the second they turn on their device.
  • Monitor their screens from anywhere you go. You should be able to access data from your employee monitoring software using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. This will allow you to access all of the aforementioned options without having to visit the office.

If you’re looking for an employee monitoring software that can do all the above features, look no further than Wolfeye Remote Screen. This tool is applicable for tracking employees’ behavior and monitoring kids’ internet use and unauthorized PC access.

Conclusion

It’s legal for companies to monitor company-issued devices and personal computers to ensure employee accountability and productivity. Employee tracking can also help businesses maintain data security.

If you’re an employer who wants to monitor an employee’s computer without disclosure, make sure that you have legitimate reasons before doing so.

Sources

Articles.

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