Rights panel to probe surveillance of workers by electronic devices
Published : 2013-03-04 20:09
Updated : 2013-03-04 20:09
The human rights watchdog said Monday it has decided to launch an extensive probe into possible human rights violation cases in which employers have illegally used electronic surveillance devices to monitor their employees.
Since 2001, the National Human Rights Commission has received a total of 663 petitions from employees who complained of being watched by their companies, with the number of such cases on the steady rise from three in 2002 to 57 in 2008 and 169 cases in 2012, according to officials.
Of the total, 68 percent said their employers maintain surveillance with closed-circuit cameras, 13.8 percent were monitored through location tracing devices including via smartphones, and 10.8 percent were traced with their bio information such as fingerprints, the commission said.
In one case, an employee and his colleagues who worked at a large retailer run by one of the country’s conglomerates, were asked by the management to provide personal information, such as call logs and bank account details, or face the threat of being fired, the watchdog said.
“The development of diverse electronic devices gives rise to such surveillance cases against employers,” said a commission official, explaining the reason for the wide probe. The official added that details about how to conduct the survey have yet to be confirmed.
“Based upon the fact-finding survey with the reports we’ve received, the commission will come up with measures to curb rights violation cases,” he added.
The issue of illegal surveillance into employees and labor unions by the management made headlines in recent months after the country’s largest discount chain store, E-mart, has been under government probe for suspected violations of labor laws by systematically attempting to undermine its labor union. (Yonhap News)