Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Jimmy54321
    • By Jimmy54321 16th Jan 20, 3:54 PM
    • 16Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Jimmy54321
    Covert Recording
    • #1
    • 16th Jan 20, 3:54 PM
    Covert Recording 16th Jan 20 at 3:54 PM
    Hi,
    Posting on behalf of a Family member who believes they are being covertly recorded in work. I'm going to keep this generic on their request. I'm not sure if this is an appropriate place to post this but the CAB section appears to be locked so apologies if this is misplaced.

    Context - Said family member is a manager in a small shop that is part of a larger centrally managed chain. They received verbal confirmation from a 3rd party maintenance individual that the maintenance individual previously installed a hidden microphone system that is actively being used to record the conversations of staff on a daily basis. There is no CCTV system in place and none of the staff (including my relation who is the branch manager) have ever been made aware that they are being recorded in any way. There is also no company surveillance policy in place that indicates any levels of monitoring. There is no concern of anything being used against them or anything like that but it has just generally sowed a seed of mistrust and anxiousness into my family members mind. It's just not a nice feeling to them that they know their employer feels the need to secretly record all of their conversations without ever making them aware that it is happening.

    We are curious whether or not this kind of covert monitoring is actually legal and whether or not to raise it at a higher level in some way that doesn't implicate the maintenance individual. I.e. locate the microphones and pose it as a "stumbled across this, what is it??" kind of question.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
Page 1
    • Dox
    • By Dox 16th Jan 20, 5:17 PM
    • 1,863 Posts
    • 1,396 Thanks
    Dox
    • #2
    • 16th Jan 20, 5:17 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Jan 20, 5:17 PM
    'Verbal confirmation' - what question did you ask? What makes you think the maintenance individual is telling the truth?
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 16th Jan 20, 5:36 PM
    • 4,704 Posts
    • 12,101 Thanks
    LilElvis
    • #3
    • 16th Jan 20, 5:36 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Jan 20, 5:36 PM
    'Verbal confirmation' - what question did you ask? What makes you think the maintenance individual is telling the truth?
    Originally posted by Dox
    Quite. I suspect he said it as a wind-up, not expecting his audience to be quite so gullible. Do you seriously think that Head Office has people listening in to their stores, it would require ridiculous manpower and to what effect?
    • mjm3346
    • By mjm3346 16th Jan 20, 5:38 PM
    • 41,892 Posts
    • 333,405 Thanks
    mjm3346
    • #4
    • 16th Jan 20, 5:38 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Jan 20, 5:38 PM
    If it's true .

    you can monitor staff without their knowledge if:

    You suspect they’re breaking the law
    letting them know about it would make it hard to detect the crime
    Internet goodness 27349
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 16th Jan 20, 6:23 PM
    • 5,473 Posts
    • 6,297 Thanks
    robatwork
    • #5
    • 16th Jan 20, 6:23 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Jan 20, 6:23 PM
    Let us know when the family member finds the microphones.

    Plus the team of people employed and paid to monitor the conversations.
    Let's say there are 4 microphones. To properly monitor the conversations "they" would need 4 people. These would be people of some clearance level to work on secretive stuff so you're probably looking at 120,000 just in salaries, plus equipment and all the ancillaries. So that's maybe 200,000 to monitor this shop.

    Unless the small shop is a front for a spying or criminal operation of huge importance, it simply won't be true.

    If it were true I can't imagine for 1 second it would be legal or admissible in evidence anyhow. So even less likely.
    • Jsacker
    • By Jsacker 16th Jan 20, 7:37 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Jsacker
    • #6
    • 16th Jan 20, 7:37 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jan 20, 7:37 PM
    If it's true .
    Originally posted by mjm3346
    Of course, there is slightly more to the bit you quoted:

    Only do this as part of a specific investigation, and stop when the investigation is over.
    by https://www.gov.uk/data-protection-your-business/monitoring-staff-at-work
    I would recommend that the poster contact the ICO in the first instance if they believe that their personal data (voice recordings) is is being captured without their consent. The ICO should be able to explain what the company should and should not be doing.

    Then either speak to ACAS or a Union rep if a member. The biggest problem is that there is no evidence to suggest that audio is being recorded here, EXCEPT FOR a third-party mechanic who was either winding you up or telling the truth. I would imagine that the employer would be a bit peeved with the mechanic REGARDLESS of whether they were joking (creating distrust amongst their staff for no reason) or not (blowing their cover) here, but the bigger worry is having some sort of protection if the employer doesn't take too kindly to being asked "are you covertly recording us?" hence ACAS/Union. If right, you MAY qualify as a "whistleblower" and have some protection when ultimately asking the question.
    Last edited by Jsacker; 16-01-2020 at 7:49 PM.
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 16th Jan 20, 11:32 PM
    • 4,641 Posts
    • 5,270 Thanks
    Marvel1
    • #7
    • 16th Jan 20, 11:32 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Jan 20, 11:32 PM
    Of course, there is slightly more to the bit you quoted:
    Originally posted by Jsacker
    No wonder they left the link out from their source
    • Marcon
    • By Marcon 17th Jan 20, 12:52 PM
    • 1,587 Posts
    • 1,256 Thanks
    Marcon
    • #8
    • 17th Jan 20, 12:52 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Jan 20, 12:52 PM
    Did this conversation take place on 1 April?
    • Jsacker
    • By Jsacker 17th Jan 20, 6:13 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Jsacker
    • #9
    • 17th Jan 20, 6:13 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Jan 20, 6:13 PM
    No wonder they left the link out from their source
    Originally posted by Marvel1
    Yea, a pet-peeve of mine when people don't quote the source. At least they made it easy to search by not paraphrasing!
    • Jimmy54321
    • By Jimmy54321 20th Jan 20, 12:03 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jimmy54321
    With regards to whether not it is true and the verbal communication received, what I meant is that the individual confirmed in person that they installed a recording system that staff were unaware of. This was a result of a conversation had off premises, at their request as they "did not want to be recorded"

    Some of you have suggested that this is unrealistic and a wind up which was my first reaction too but I'm unsure why the guy would do that.

    My relation is not going to bluntly ask them "are you secretly recording us" but they have their own genuine concerns over the security of the premises and want to suggest a CCTV system be installed. This is actually required to meet certain industry specific standards relating to the security of the premises, perhaps they will come forward and reveal they already have some kind of system installed to cover this off.

    There is no accusation (or major concern) in play here from any party, it was just a genuine curiosity from us as to whether or not this kind of thing is legal, if indeed it is even true in the first place.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,317Posts Today

6,404Users online

Martin's Twitter