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[Tendenz: Jedem sein privat-Echelon. Nicht nur fuer die 
Phono-Industrie.  --AHH]

http://jya.com/sn022199.htm [@EOF]

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BBC News Online, Thursday, 18 February 1999, 17:38 GMT 


An increasing number of companies are spying on their staff, according
to a new report. 

The Institute of Employment Rights has said surveillance techniques
are being used on the workforce and are an "alarming" threat to the
privacy of workers. It said that intrusive surveillance can lead to
insecurity and stress and can even prevent workers organising
themselves collectively. 

The Institute complained of cases involving: 

     Interception of e-mails, 
     Bosses listening in to call-centre workers to check they are
     being "chirpy", The use of computers to count key strokes,
     Companies using infra-red transmitters to record the exact
     movements of workers. 

The report said workers at a London hospital discovered surveillance
cameras had been secretly placed in staff locker rooms. 

Ed Sweeney, general secretary of the Banking, Insurance and Finance
Union, said: "We have seen the steady growth in new methods of
surveillance at work which in our experience leads to increased stress
among the workforce." 

The Institute's director Carolyn Jones said one problem was that newer
employers such as call-centres would not allow the creation of unions
let alone negotiate work practices. 

"Although the proposed recognition laws may offer a foot in the door
to unions, we can foresee great difficulties if they attempt to
recruit people into the union while the employer watches them on
closed circuit TV." 


The oil company BP has temporarily switched off secret microphones at
its petrol stations after staff complaints, according to a newspaper
report. The company had set up 148 hidden microphones across the UK to
record customers' conversations and, without their knowledge, their
workers. Despite the resignation of two members of staff who only
found out about the hidden devices after an engineer refurbished a
service station in Ayr, the company still plans to install them into
all of its 1,600 petrol stations. 

A BP spokesman told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the microphones
could help identify robbers who sometimes call each other by name
during hold-ups. But one of BP's employees who resigned over the
issued told the paper she was appalled. "The public have a right to
know if their privacy is being invaded," she said 

Copyright 1999 BBC. 

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