個人資料保護辦公室

Gabinete para a Protecção de Dados Pessoais

Office for Personal Data Protection

Enquiry Case Notes
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No: 0652/C/2011

Title: Employer monitored the employees’ use online chat software

Content:

    Resident X, in his enquiry, pointed out that Institution A asked its employees to contact customers through online chatting software (MSN, QQ, etc.). However, it did not provide the employees any user accounts. Therefore, the employees could only contact customers by using their own accounts.
  X asked whether this Institution violated the Personal Data Protection Act if it monitored the contents of the conversations thereof.

Result:

    In the absence of detailed information, the GPDP could only, based on general data processing, provide the following opinions:
  Under Articles 4(1)(1) and 3(1) of the Personal Data Protection Act (Law 8/2005), the data processing involved in this case is regulated by the same Law.
  An employer, for the needs of work, checking the online chats of its staff is actually considered as monitoring its staff members, and he should consult the guidelines issued by the GPDP named The Principles Concerning the Protection of Personal Data in the Workplace: Guidelines for Employee Monitoring.
  In the absence of detailed information, the GPDP could not determine, at present, whether the personal data processing mentioned above violated the Personal Data Protection Act. If an employee being monitored found improper processing of his personal data by his employer, he could file a complaint with the GPDP.

Reference:
Please refer to "Personal Data Protection Act", articles 3,4 .

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