Does the Law Actually Allow Employers to Use Cell Phone Spy Apps?
Employee monitoring has long been a subject of several arguments between business owners and their workers because there are several points that can be made, especially in terms of the legality of this activity. For employers, the concern is whether or not spying on employees is legal. Well, basically, the use of spy message app and other monitoring tools can be considered legal depending on who is being spied on and how the monitoring is performed.
Below we will discuss some of the laws related to phone and computer surveillance, so that both employers and employees can have a better understanding of what is legal and illegal monitoring.
Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986
This is a federal law that prohibits unauthorized access or any kind of interception to electronic communications. This kind of communication includes the use of emails, computers, and even telephones. There are certain exceptions to this law, however, especially in terms of how employers can monitor people in the workplace.
- There is a business exception that lets an employer monitor how an employee uses company systems for business purposes. Examples of this would be for improving customer service, to make sure employees are really working, and for preventing harassment in the workplace.
- If one party gives consent to monitoring, then it is perfectly legal for employers to use apps for text spying, call monitoring, and so on. Consent here means that an employer will notify an employee in advance regarding the policy of the company to monitor employees. In this case, an employee does not have to agree to make it legal. Consent here means that proper information or notification is given by an employer to an employee.
- If an employer is the legal owner of the phone, email, or even social media accounts, there is no doubt that they have the right to access such communications even without the permission from an employee.
Computer Hacking Laws
The use of employee passwords in order to access their personal accounts can be considered a violation of state and federal computer hacking laws. In fact, they can also constitute identity theft.
Laws on Recording Conversations
The public and employees are protected by certain state laws against any activity that involves the recording of conversations. This is despite the fact that federal laws exist and give such right to employers. But then again, if the device being used by an employee is owned by the employer, this form of monitoring is acceptable.
Business owners generally can use apps and software like Highster Mobile that spy texts and phone calls as long as they own the devices used by their employees. This is good news for employers because the use of reliable cell phone spy software, such as Highster Mobile, is a proven effective method of employee monitoring.