Keystroke logging violates privacy

Software intrusive and rarely justified, says Alberta’s Information and Privacy Commissioner
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Installing software that logs every keystroke an employee makes on a computer is an obtrusive surveillance method that will rarely be justified, Alberta’s Information and Privacy Commissioner has ruled.

The commissioner said the Parkland Regional Library in Lacombe, Alta., violated the privacy of an information technology worker by installing the software on his computer without his knowledge. The employee started working for the library on Jan. 5, 2004. Despite some concerns about his performance, he passed the probationary period.

On May 20, 2004, the library’s director ordered the keystroke logging program to be installed because of concerns about his productivity and the use of his working time. The worker discovered it on June 17, 2004. He immediately disabled it and later removed it.