The UK bank is the subject of an investigation by the UK data protection regulator (ICO) into the use of software to spy on its staff.
“We have an ongoing investigation into the alleged use by Barclays of employee monitoring tools,” said a spokesperson for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK equivalent of the CNIL French (National Commission for Informatics and Liberties), in a statement sent Monday to AFP.
The quotidien The Telegraph, who revealed the information over the weekend, said the system the bank used allowed managers to monitor how much time an employee was spending at their desk and the time taken to complete different tasks.
Barclays used a program for 18 months to anonymously monitor its employees, activating a feature in February to target certain employees, according to the newspaper. The bank, however, decided the same month to end this option and alert the ICO, following protests among its employees, the newspaper continued. Contacted by AFP, the bank did not react immediately.
“Individuals have the right to a share of privacy in their workplace,” said the ICO spokesperson.
“If companies want to monitor their employees, they should be clear on the objective and the expected benefits,” he added, recalling that “companies must also inform their employees of the nature, extent and reasons for any surveillance ”.