Online employee tracking system gains popularity in Chinese companies

 In Chinese social media, a system of "employee behavior perception" has recently attracted attention, which is said to be able to track employees' propensity to change jobs.


It all started when, on February 11, a netizen reported on a social platform that there is a monitoring system that can know in advance what employees think about changing jobs, and attached an image of the monitoring page of the system.

According to the published screenshots, the system can determine the number of visits by employees to job search websites, the number of keywords in chats, the number of search keywords, and the number of resumes delivered.


In addition, this system will monitor the online behavior of employees through the company's intranet, such as chat records, online time and application access, and the work status of employees will be determined using predefined rules.

After the "perception of employee behavior" system was exposed, many netizens questioned how "the company violated employee privacy."


A senior partner at Wanlian Shanghai Universal Law Firm, said it is understandable that some companies use advanced and technical procedures and management practices to implement legitimate management behavior. However, with the development of science and technology and the expansion of the use of information technology, situations may arise that involve the invasion of the privacy of workers.


But the “Perception of Employee Behavior” system is not a new product, websites, mail, chat records, etc., that is, all the actions of employees on the Internet and on the computer can be tracked by such a system, the system will extract keywords and compile an analytical report for each employee, so that the head of the company can assess the loyalty of a particular employee to the company.


The main content includes: statistics on the duration of viewing of specific content by employees and the characteristics of access to applications during working hours, as well as determining the working status of employees in accordance with predefined rules; duration of time.


This monitoring system is easy to install, you just need to connect the hardware next to the router in the main room to monitor the computers of the entire company.


So, how much does it cost for a company in China to purchase such a monitoring system?

The sales manager of one of the companies that install such tracking systems said that the price of the system is 10,000 yuan, and then it is necessary to pay about 1,000 yuan for maintenance every year.


According to media reports, the relevant research and development team said that the "employee behavior perception" system is paid annually, and the cost depends on the network bandwidth and the number of terminals, and with more terminals, the cost can reach hundreds of thousands of yuan.


But is there a legal risk associated with collecting employee online behavior data? The aforementioned sales manager stated that the audit of online behavior is supported by relevant government documents and is an early warning of online behavior, "there will be no relevant legal risks."

A lawyer from the Beijing-based Yinghe law firm, said that collecting data on employees' online behavior violates privacy, "it cannot be generalized and must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis."


“If a company maliciously collects information about employees by not only tracking employees’ Internet use during work hours, but can also track employees’ Internet use outside of work hours and outside the workplace, then the company is suspected of violating employees’ privacy rights,” the lawyer said. .


Chat records, email attachments, and other content do not exclude personal information and records other than business matters and employee hours. Thus, the control and analysis of this content can easily violate the privacy of workers and other legitimate rights and interests.”


Lawyers believe that when companies use the "perception of employee behavior" system, they should inform employees in advance, obtain the consent of employees and oversee only the improvement of work efficiency, and not control information and records regarding employees' personal lives