Barclays investigated for spying on staff



The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched an investigation into Barclays after allegations that the bank used computer monitoring software to spy on employees. 

The software allowed bank managers to track how long employees were spending away from their desks and could reveal the amount of time taken to complete tasks. 

The lender used a program from Sapience Analytics to track staff activities anonymously for 18 months, however, the lender utilised an extra function in February this year which allowed managers to pick out individual employees. 

Later in February, Barclays stopped managers from monitoring individual workers’ data and informed the privacy watchdog after outrage from the bank’s staff, The Sunday Telegraph reports.

A spokesperson from the ICI has confirmed that a formal investigation into the lender’s actions is ongoing. They said: “People expect that they can keep their personal lives private and that they are also entitled to a degree of privacy in the workplace. If organisations wish to monitor their employees, they should be clear about its purpose and that it brings real benefits.”

The spokesperson added: “Organisations also need to make employees aware of the nature, extent and reasons for any monitoring.”

The ICO could not confirm when the investigation will conclude. If found to have breached data privacy laws, Barclays faces a maximum fine of up to £865 million.

Barclays declined to comment.


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