Federal Data Protection Commissioner


The Federal Data Protection Commissioner (hereinafter referred to as the Commissioner) is a federal agency that is responsible for monitoring and advising private individuals on data protection issues. He sometimes issues recommendations on this subject.

Monitoring of employees

There are many reasons why employers may wish to monitor their employees. Sometimes it is to ensure that employees do not consult private websites during working hours, that they do not commit offences or that they respect working hours. Surveillance can also be used to ensure the safety of company personnel, assets or customers.

The data collected by this surveillance is personal data which may also be sensitive. The Commissioner has established a strict and complex procedure for employers who wish to monitor their employees. It is imperative that the employer issue surveillance regulations that comply with this procedure in every respect.

The employer cannot invoke just any reason to monitor his/her employees. Eavesdropping, recording of business calls and cyber-surveillance, in particular spyware, are only permissible under specific conditions. The same applies to the use of GPS to track employees' business movements.


When employee surveillance is legal, the employer must still take measures to guarantee the confidentiality of the data collected. The data must be destroyed after a certain period of time.

If this procedure is not followed, the employer risks violating the personality rights of his/her employees. The evidence collected through this surveillance will be illegal. The employer will not be able to use this evidence in the context of a termination, whether ordinary or immediate. 

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