Internet Surveillance

Monitoring Internet use at Workplace

Swiss labour law prohibits the use of monitoring devices for the sole purpose of monitoring the behaviour of employees at the workplace but allows the use of such devices for other purposes, if necessary, provided the health and liberty of employees is not compromised.

Systematic monitoring of an individual employee's internet use is prohibited. However, the monitoring of internet use through means that do not identify specific employees is allowed to ensure compliance with internal requirements (e.g., the acceptable use according to policies), provided that employees have been informed. Anonymous monitoring may be carried out without informing employees. Monitoring using pseudonyms, i.e., with the possibility to identify the authors of abusive usage, may only be used if employees have been notified in advance of its potential use.

Any monitoring needs to be performed in accordance with a monitoring policy which specifies, e.g., who is in charge of the monitoring, what is monitored, who will be notified if an abuse is identified and what the consequences of such abuse are.

In practice, it often makes sense to establish a single policy which combines an acceptable use policy and a monitoring policy.