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Thread: is this legal?

  1. #1
    The Eror Group Onionboy's Avatar
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    is this legal?

    ok, it seems as though the boss where im working is installing 4 cctv mini cams into the 4 corners of ther office so he can make sure we are all working constantly.

    on top of this he is installing software which can make screen grabs from our computers onto his computer (is this really possible???)

    hes also putting in filtration software to block us having access to the internet unless we gets sites checked by him first.

    the company has gone crazy!

    there are 2 main bosses... one is great and we get on well with him.
    the other is hitlers twin that got away and formed this company.

    is all of what he is doing legal?
    or is there some law against this kind of harrasment?

    also, does anyone know any ways around all this? i managed to con the it bloke into giving me full admin server rights :P hehe.
    so im trying to find out if there is a way i can keep my access to the net and avoid being 'screen grabbed' as they say.

    i do pull my weight, as we all do there. but he seems to think that you should only stop working during the 15 min breaks :s

    fun fun fun.
    fishpiracy
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  2. #2
    Flash Kit Moderator Genesis F5's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, not really. By working for this employer, you agree to abide by the stipulations provided. It may even appear somewhere in your contract. There's really nothing harassing about it. I suppose you could call it company quality assurance .

    And yes, such software exists. There are even devices that fit in between your PS/2 Keyboard cable and the PS/2 port that can record what you type.

    - Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I agree they are going a bit overboard. They should maybe rethink their companies strategy if they are having such problems.

    -genesis f5 (genesis mx)

  3. #3
    Senior Member mg33's Avatar
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    Yes, legal.
    Yes, legal.
    Yes, also legal.

    You work there. You want to make money? Do your job by the books and those things shouldn't even matter.

    mg33
    The Atlantic Divide My band here in Chicago, USA. || We also exist here on myspace: myspace.com/theatlanticdivide

  4. #4
    Retired Mod aversion's Avatar
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    I think it's ok as long as it's not secret filming, if they tell you it's ok. We had a door camera once and had to inform the local police of its existence as well, I guess they just keep a record... in case... someone's stealing doors?

  5. #5
    Senior Member mg33's Avatar
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    I think your biggest worry should be the camera capturing you picking your nose or something. Or dozing off at the desk.

    mg33
    The Atlantic Divide My band here in Chicago, USA. || We also exist here on myspace: myspace.com/theatlanticdivide

  6. #6
    The Eror Group Onionboy's Avatar
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    its more the way they are treating everyone that gets me to be honest.

    im not worried about being caught out as im confident in my work... and the bosses are pleased with the work ive done.

    its just the way they are going about things.

    i got a message over msn from a colleague just now to tell me one of the designers has just quit.
    (im off work with flu)

    this job definatly isnt what they advertised for, and the contract is so vague it basically means what ever they want it to mean.

    but jobs here are scarce at the moment so i guess i shall just have to make do for a while, and hope the net picks up a bit next year
    fishpiracy
    ...The Eror Group...
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  7. #7
    It's all legal, but it's also a great way to make moral and productivity drop dramatically. Making your employees paranoid because big brother is constantly watching over you and your computer is both obtrusive and arguably immoral. but they can still do it if they want. I would hate to work for someone who feels that they can't trust me even though I haev already shown them that I can be trusted.

    They could at least have the cameras and screen grabs installation spread out over a year so as not to scare people away.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mg33's Avatar
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    Well, you could be standing in the unemployment line every week.

    mg33
    The Atlantic Divide My band here in Chicago, USA. || We also exist here on myspace: myspace.com/theatlanticdivide

  9. #9
    FK's Official A&A Addict
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    just tail your boss home and make some interesting pictures wich you will by accident get the next day at work. let him screengrab those that should learn him not to mess with you as for the camera's well you could always hook up a vcr to one of the camera's with some interesting tapes.

  10. #10
    (sic) Covenent's Avatar
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    Originally posted by justice strike
    you could always hook up a vcr to one of the camera's with some interesting tapes.
    Well that wouldnt be a tape of any of Keanu Reeve's films then!

    I think its fair enough for company's to install such 'assurance', but only if its justified. If productivity hasnt slipped, and your all trustworthy (no bad record to date) then I dont see why there is aneed to go ahead with. You should ask if CCTV is being installed in the bosses office so you can check up wheter he/she is being productive or not, after all you should have a right to know if the company is running smoothy or not since your career is at stake.

  11. #11
    FK's Official A&A Addict
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    if you really have a problem with it. just have a chat with your boss about it. Don't forget to throw in some fancy words like moral, productivity and capacityratio

  12. #12
    Running Plodding & Limping SpockBert's Avatar
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    It does sound a bit too big brother, I mean what if in your lunchbreak you want to surf the net a little? as long as you don't look at any dodgy sites I don't see what the problem is.

    Just curious how does the screen grab software work?

    is it a bit like that msn net meeting thing where you let people view your desktop etc?

  13. #13
    Señor member
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    I had loads of issues with this sort of behaviour when I used to work with O2 before I quit. They were already monitoring and recording phone calls which was fair enough as my job was based on the phone (account management) so this was a reasonable measure and quality assurance method.

    They then started introducing the threat of internet access restrictions along with keystroke monitoring and screen grabbing software under the all inclusive banner of "quality assurance" and to be fair, while as an employee it makes you feel like **** because you're simply not trusted in any way to do your job, it's something employers are entitiled to do and if I was the employer rather than the employee, I'd perhaps consider it but I'd much rather rely on older fashioned methods such as trusting staff!

    That said, the industry is not what it was, employees must produce 100% of the time as time is money etc.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member webcorps's Avatar
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    I would start looking for another job if I were you. It is a bunch of nonsense that people have to "look" busy all day. Sorry, that is not how it works. If someone is doing something dishonest, then surveillance is ok. But the idea that you actually have work to do every minute of everyday is ludicrous in any creative/technical position. If he wants employees that work with blinders then maybe your boss should have better hiring practices. Productivity will not increase, only perceived productivity will rise in the end. Good managers motivate good employees, simple as that. It is time tested and true. Intimidation is an easy way to get temporary albeit cosmetic results. A couple of months under big brother and you WILL find a way to circumvent your bosses' neurotic schizophrenia.

  15. #15
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    I'd be out of their, probably whether I liked it or not.

    Firstly, I'd be sure to tell the project manager of this installation exactly what I thought of their 1984-esque system, and if that little monologue didn't get me my walking papers, my work methodolgy would just about seal the deal. I have no problem working hard, but I think if you're in a professioinal situation, it should be a foregone conclusion that you're mature enough to decide for yourself when you need to take a leak, or for that matter, take a break.

    Damn, I really hate this crap. Although they have the right, it does not make it right. With the (apparent) market over-supply of designers and developers, you'd think if they mistrusted their employees to this level, they'd just fire 'em and get some replacements.

    Anyway, not saying that you're in the least bit like me, but I wouldn't stand for that at all. If you choose to leave, I hope you're successful in your search for other employment, Onionboy.
    Stand by for emergency synapse rerouting

  16. #16
    not a free man 51055's Avatar
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    You don't say if you're in the US or UK.
    In the UK there is a law that states that you have the right to a copy of any cctv footage of you. You can get all footage on a specific date for a nominal 5pounds. How many in your office? If you all requested copies of videos for all 4 cameras (still covered by a single 5quid payment) the company would be well out of pocket. And if you do it on random days (all on the same day) you can stoke up your boss' paranoia that wee bit more. Turn it into a game and see who cracks first.
    Good luck.

  17. #17
    Moderator CNO's Avatar
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    Start/join a union.

  18. #18
    Retired SCORM Guru PAlexC's Avatar
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    Look for a new job.

    I wouldn't put up with that crap.

    When he asks why you're leaving, say it's because you refuse to be treated like a child or a criminal.

    You're an employed professonial there to do a job, not a crook that needs to be monitored. Sounds like managment doesn't know how to manage.

  19. #19
    Watt on Earth? Jemadah's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PAlexC
    Look for a new job.

    I wouldn't put up with that crap.

    When he asks why you're leaving, say it's because you refuse to be treated like a child or a criminal.

    You're an employed professonial there to do a job, not a crook that needs to be monitored. Sounds like managment doesn't know how to manage.
    Sounds about right to me..

    To be fair I think if given the chance everyone does a fair bit of surfing at work.. And if monitored then you will do more work and less surfing..

    But does more work mean better work?

    In the creative industry you do need time out to gather your thoughts.. maybe that surfing or having a cuppa..

    Maybe if you were adding stuff to excel sheets then this might be reasonable..


  20. #20
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    at 3:14pm each day, scream out "WHOOP WHOOP" and wave your hands in the air with one of those big #1 fake finger things sporting the team that antagonizes your bosses favorite team.

    offer no explanations.

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